<![CDATA[Tanya Stowe - Tanya\'s Travel Topics]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:24:44 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[The Philippines]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 04:00:45 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/the-philippinesBy Jan Elder
I heard from a writer friend that Pelican Book Group was looking for novellas for their Passport to Romance series (http://pelicanbookgroup.com/). One of the countries I could choose from was the Philippines. A perfect fit, because my brother has lived in a suburb of Manila for over thirty years.

He’s a missionary/seminary professor and I was privileged to visit him a few years ago. He’s always talked about how difficult it is for a busy missionary man to find a good woman. Wouldn’t it be a great deal easier to just send out an application and choose a mate without all that fuss, muss, and emotional business? 

He was kidding of course (I think), but hey, what if he wasn’t? What if there was a man out there who had the audacity to advertise for a wife in this day and age? What started out as a joke made for a good book premise.

Manila and vicinity is a bizarre and striking mix of wealth and splendor existing side by side with extreme poverty. Mansions next to shacks. Lush tropical growth adjacent to dusty streets. A country of contrasts. What I loved the best, by far, was the unreserved graciousness of the Filipino people. So friendly, so generous, so welcoming!

Connect with Jan Elder:
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Manila Marriage App

It all began as a lark. Shay Callahan’s life was just fine, thank you, but when the seemingly misogynistic missionary, Timothy Flynn, places an advertisement for a wife in a Christian magazine, she decides to give it a whirl and sends in the five-page application. Why not? After all, she’s not currently seeing anyone, and this man truly needs to be taught a lesson.

Finding out she’s Dr. Flynn’s pick of the litter, Shay hops on a plane and flies to The Philippines. The strategy is to jet in, enjoy an exciting two-week vacation, and jet out again, all at his expense. Instead, her plan backfires. The handsome missionary man is not what he seems, and the foreign land has far more to offer than she could imagine.

Embark on a tropical adventure with Shay that challenges everything she believes.


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<![CDATA[ Thoughts on Visiting Israel]]>Fri, 03 Feb 2017 03:43:53 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/-thoughts-on-visiting-israelBy Hope Dougherty
Last March, my husband and I, along with one son and thirty one other people from Texas and New Mexico, toured Israel, the Holy land. Although we normally like finding our own way when we travel, we decided joining a tour this time showed wisdom and caution.

Many people warned us that we began too late because we started seriously making plans the previous fall. Unfortunately, that’s how we roll, but by researching Israel tours on-line, my husband found one from Houston with open spots.

Our tour guide Tali, a Messianic Jew, showed us her homeland and shared insights, personal stories, and history lessons from her perspective.

We had a great trip in a lot of respects. We met wonderful people who love Jesus, have quick senses of humor, and are great conversationalists.

I spent nine days focusing on one son, a rare treat for this mother of four.

We saw beautiful sights, sailed on the Sea of Galilee, rode a camel, floated in the Dead Sea, and ate delicious food. I ate pounds of hummus, an easy feat since it’s served even at breakfast.
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​Looking at Tiberias from the Sea of Galilee

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My camel buddy and new friend, Kelly.

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​My camel driver’s license with my name in Hebrew.

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​The Dead Sea.

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Our meal with Abraham. See him standing in the white robe?

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A double rainbow over the Promised Land after the meal in Abraham's tent.
Beautiful and breathtaking,
and not photo-shopped. (Not included in my skills set.)


After our Israel trip, we tagged on three days in Jordan and observed our other son haggling—in Arabic—with taxi drivers. We met his friends—Muslims and Christians—over there. We ate in his favorite family-owned diner.

We toured Petra and experienced the state of the world now, moving through two security checkpoints, including a pat-down search just to enter our hotel.
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​The treasury at Petra.


Yes, we had a fabulous trip, and I’m grateful for it.
But I know the people who ask me, “Didn’t you love being there? Wasn’t it wonderful?” are really asking a different question. They want to know, “Didn’t you experience Jesus in a real way? Couldn’t you feel His presence like never before?”
 
My answer is, not exactly.

I tingle while visiting the beautiful, traditionally-accepted spot of the Sermon on the Mount. Goosebumps didn’t pop at the traditionally-accepted place Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.

I had special experiences with our new friends, but they could have happened anywhere in the world. I kept thinking about what the angel told the women at the empty tomb on the third day, “He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” Matthew 28:6

His footprints marked Israel thousands of years ago, but His fingerprints linger everywhere today.

Praise God we can experience Him anytime, anywhere.


Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master's degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for AlmostAnAuthor.com.  She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo. Her third novel, a romantic suspense, is scheduled to be published with Mantle Rock Publishing in September.

Visit Hope's website:
http://hopetolerdougherty.com/
 
Connect with Hope:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AUTHORHOPETOLERDOUGHERTY
Twitter Hope Toler Dougherty (@HopeTDougherty) | Twitter 
Pinterest  www.pinterest.com/hopetdougherty/
Goodreads  www.goodreads.com/author/show/13941031.Hope_Dougherty
 

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<![CDATA[Happy New Year in Across-the-Pond Style]]>Fri, 06 Jan 2017 05:40:21 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/happy-new-year-in-across-the-pond-style​by Marilyn Leach
Wassail, wassail all over the town!
Our toast it is white, and our ale it is brown,
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.
The Gloucestershire Wassail
This song, including its verses that wished prosperity and good health on the household, was first sung on New Year’s Eve in 1864 when greeters lifted their voices  door to door in a small English village.  Their festive bowl was dressed with ribbons, waiting for a tip of ale from those inside the home.  Sounds like a festive time.

But how is the English New Year celebrated in 2016?  I can tell you how my English friends and I celebrated it not long ago.
We decided on a quiet New Year’s Eve, eating finger foods, answering phone calls from well-wishers, (rather than village singers at the door), watching glorious London fireworks, and ringing in the New Year with a toast and hugs all round.  On New Year’s Day we visited St. Alban’s Cathedral in Hertfordshire and took in the holiday splendor.  There was hot soup to be had in the church café, a delight on a cold day.  And that evening, we had a celebratory roast pork dinner, including a yummy English truffle pudding for afters, with near-by family dropping in to join the fun. 

In England, Christmas and New Years are not a couple of especially noted days; rather, it’s an entire season that lasts for weeks.  And New Years is not the end of it.  There’s the Celebration of the Epiphany on January sixth, too.  

From the singing greeters of old, to the revelers of present day, shared wishes were bestowed toward one another for a prosperous and healthy New Year.  And, may the blessings of God’s goodness come to you, as well, in 2017.

Pray God send our master a Happy New Year,
And a happy New Year as e’er he did see.


Marilyn Leach is a dyed-in-the-wool British enthusiast who lives lakeside near the Colorado foothills.  She enjoys viewing and reading mysteries that originate across the pond.  From the Scottish Boarders to Devon, city buzz to rural church bells, she enjoys excursions throughout the beautiful isle that inspire her writing.  Her dear friends, who have become like family, live in Reading, England. 

Find Marilyn here:  marilynleachteaandbooks.com



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In the English village of Aidan Kirkwood, no divine gifts are going spare when Berdie Elliott flames into action and demystifies the enigma of fire.


​Are you an Agatha Christie fan?  Does the thought of an English village make you long to grab your passport and head across the pond?  Are cozy mysteries your cup of tea?  If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you won’t want to miss Marilyn Leach’s newest release, Enigma of Fire
 
Intrepid heroine Berdie Elliott, a vicar’s wife whose sleuthing skills were honed as an investigative reporter, faces her most challenging mystery yet when her husband’s former military comrades come to the sleepy village of Aiden Kirkwood for a sculling regatta.  From its riveting prologue to the final resolution, this story showcases Leach at her best. 
Amanda Cabot, CBA and ECPA bestselling author

Purchase Enigma of Fire here: Amazon.com

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<![CDATA[Teton wagon train]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 01:47:06 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/teton-wagon-trainBy Tanya Hanson
A few years ago, I and my hubby, brother-in-law, and sis had the experience of a lifetime, taking a wagon train around the Tetons with an amazing group, headed by wagonmaster Jeff Warburton out of Jackson, Wyoming. He’s a true cowboy and a gentleman
 
Yep. We spent four days circling the Tetons through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest bordering Yellowstone bear country. We didn’t see any bear despite everybody’s secret longing.   Likely the thundering horses and our noisy group skeered ’em away.

​First stop on the bus taking us to the wagons were photo-ops of the Grand lady herself..followed by her neighbor Mount Moran reflected perfectly in a oxbow lake.
 
After a delicious lunch—there’s nothing quite like chuck wagon cooking in the open mountain air—Jeff called, “let the wagons roll” and we were off to our camp for the night.
​Pulling the wagons were magnificent draft horses, Percherons and Belgians. They are named in teams, such as Lady and Tramp, Gun and Smoke, Sandy and Sage, Jack and Jill. The first name is always the horse on the left. These glorious beasts are capable of pulling up to 4,000 pounds as a team, and they love to work. In winter, they lead sleighs to the elk refuge outside Jackson.
 
While the wagons do have rubber tires and padded benches, the gravel roads are nothing like a modern freeway.  Most times our route was called the “cowboy rollercoaster.” 
​Our tents were comfy—all sleeping essentials are provided–, and there was nothing so fine as a cup of Arbuckle’s to warm us up on a chilly morning. One of the nicest parts of the meals was Jeff leading us in a blessing first. Nobody had to join in…but seems like everybody did.
 
Everywhere surrounding us, the Wyoming landscape was full of lakes, greenery and blooming wildflowers.  Nights after the camp quieted down were almost beyond description: the stars are endless, multi-layered, sparkling on forever and ever amen. What a sight.
 
Me and mine, well, we had the time of our life.  And this trip helped inspire my Hearts Crossing Ranch series at Pelican Book Group.
 
As Jeff said when we left, “There’s always be a campfire burnin’ for ya here in Wyomin.”
 
Yep. I’m feeling the warmth right now.
 
Find Tanya Hanson at: 
www.tanyahanson.com
www.petticoatsandpistols.com
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<![CDATA[Louisiana ~ Culture, Food and Fun!]]>Wed, 02 Nov 2016 16:33:57 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/louisiana-culture-food-and-funBy ​Pamela S. Thibodeaux 
Every state, nation and class of people has a rich culture and for the most part, is proud of that. But none I've found in my travels are as varied and proud as that of Louisianans.

The story is as old as time....people burned out of homes, business and churches, herded onto a ship and sent to a place previously uninhabited with nothing but the bare necessities. In the song "Cajun Blood," Jo-El Sonnier says... "They ended up on swampy ground just south of New Orleans with all they needed to survive already in their veins."

This is from which I came.

Rich in tradition, we are a fun-loving lot, with festivals that honor God and the bountiful provisions my ancestors learned to cultivate and create unique dishes out of long before they became delicacies in other places. In Southwest Louisiana alone (where I’m from), we celebrate Mardi Gras, Contraband Days, Crawfish Festival, Rabbit Festival and much more! These events are alive with carnival rides and food,  like, Crawfish Etouffee (yeah we eat things that crawl out of mounds of mud) and "dirty" rice. Oh and let's not forget Boudin
Some time ago, Texas urged tourism by purporting they were "like a whole other country." Perhaps there's a lot of truth in that. Texas is huge and boasts of every type of terrain known to the earth.

But if you're looking for a place to visit whose culture is as colorful and varied as a kaleidoscope, put Louisiana on your list and if you ever get down to the southwestern portion of our lovely state, look me up!
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Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the
​Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
 


A visionary is someone who sees into the future Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society.  Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?

You can purchase The Visionary through any of these links:
Amazon Hardcover http://amzn.to/n8as1b 
Paperback: http://amzn.to/1uROE2o
Kindle http://amzn.to/1s23QYv
Print @Create Space: http://bit.ly/1lNvyWD  
B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1oGbV6S
Nook http://bit.ly/1Qjo3AJ
Smashwords http://bit.ly/167J9So
Deeper Shopping http://bit.ly/19lw1Kc  

Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
 
You can purchase Circles of Fate through any of these links:
Kindle: http://amzn.to/13b6qCG
Print: http://amzn.to/1zfEzNH
Create Space: http://bit.ly/1qRN3cb
Nook: http://bit.ly/1QiGg7G
B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1WpcegU
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/136qK7n
 

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<![CDATA[We’ll Always Have Paris—And Coffee]]>Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:49:34 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/well-always-have-paris-and-coffeeBy Ruth Buchanan
In the past, an announcement that I was planning a trip was generally hailed with excitement by my family and friends, many of whom share in vicarious enjoyment when I travel.

Then I planned a trip to Paris in the summer of 2016.

I did not plan this trip lightly; nor did I go into it unaware of current sociopolitical tensions. I had many serious talks with my travel partners, and we agreed to plan wisely while trusting in Yahweh for our protection.

I’m so glad we went. The Lord granted us safety, and the trip was phenomenal. 
​We arrived in Paris via the Eurostar (having made our way from London). Within a few minutes, we stepped onto Île Saint-Louis, our home for the next few days. Having decided to explore alternative forms of accommodations during the trip, we’d taken a chance on renting a fully-renovated half-timbered Medieval blacksmith’s shop a five-minute walk from Notre Dame.

From the moment we arrived, we went hard from dawn to dusk, ranging far and wide to take in as much of the city as we could. As a first-timer to Paris, I was slathering to see the biggies: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and—my personal favorite—the Gothic cathedral of Sainte Chappelle with its jaw-dropping stained glass and rich, jeweled light. 
Fortunately, a member of our group had also planned a few surprises, including stops at the Rodin Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Paris Catacombs.

Apart from seeing the sights and fellowshipping with wonderful friends, my favorite aspect of the trip by far was the coffee. Already a great fan of the beverage in general, I fell hard for café au lait, which is like white coffee except somehow infinitely better—and I’m hardly even exaggerating.
Time would fail me to tell of our adventures: how I got lost in the Louvre for hours (like, literally lost); how we accidentally climbed Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe on the same day and almost killed our legs; how we found ourselves locked out of our blacksmith-shop-cum-apartment and had to wait in the street for an hour at night until a man with a buzz saw showed up; how a waitress laughed aloud when she overheard me telling my party that I’d gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and had fallen headlong. Of eating savory crepes in the streets. Of sipping coffee in sidewalk cafes. Of confusing myself and others with my non-French.

Throughout the trip, we had constant reminders of protection. Everywhere we went, we saw armed military personnel patrolling the streets, hinting at just how precarious was the safety we enjoyed.

Given the state of world affairs, I don’t know that things will turn around for Paris any time soon. I’m grateful to have visited the city during a week of relative quiet during which to bask in the glory of crepes, gargoyles, flying buttresses, and coffee.
Ruth Buchanan is a Christian novelist and playwright. She lives and works in South Florida.  

Her first novel, slated for publication in 2017 with Harbourlight Books, is titled Collapsible: A Novel of Friendship, Broken Bones, Coffee, Shenanigans, and the Occasional Murder.


Find her on Twitter and Instagram or at her blog, “Catch the Sunshine.”
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<![CDATA[Perth, Scotland]]>Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:01:15 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/perth-scotlandBy Clare Revell
What’s the best thing about your favourite holiday destination? Other than going back year after year, that is? Writing a book set there. While staying there. That’s what I did, with the owner’s permission I hasten to add, and it comes out on September 9th.

We discovered River Edge Lodges in Bridge of Earn,  Perth, Scotland in 2003 and can’t stay away.
​Mary and John run the lodges. All wooden cabins, looking out either on the hill (it’s not big enough to be called a mountain, though we call it one), the bridge or the play area. And they have goats. This is Archie. He loves toast and absolutely hates sharing it with the other goats. Or the chickens.
 
​Some of the places in the lodges that the book takes place in. This is the Cromwell tree, so called because Oliver Cromwell camped under it during the civil war. And this is the Bridge of Earn, that gives the village its name.
 
Just off the M90, it’s an ideal base to explore Scotland. With plenty to see and do, ranging from waterfalls, mountain walks to castles and a zoo with tartan sheep (yes really and I do have a photo on my phone to prove it), the warm welcome you receive is an added bonus. Is it any wonder we keep going back?
 

​Marigolds in October
by Clare Revell

DI Milly Jenson spent the best part of a year haunted by a case that saw her demoted—one that resulted in the deaths of three colleagues, the kidnap victim, and the suspect. So when a spate of similar kidnappings occur in Perth, Scotland, Milly isn't thrilled when she's sent to work with the local PD.
DCI Craig Fraser doesn't want some English plod interfering with his case, especially one with a reputation for incompetence. But it seems the lovely detective inspector knows the killer and may be their only hope.
But as Craig gets to know her, another problem emerges. Can he keep his professional and personal lives separate? Or are he and Milly on a collision course that will have drastic consequences for everyone?

“Look, it’s been a really long twenty-four hours.” Milly moved away from the door and leaned on the officer’s desk. “Most of it has been spent travelling and fighting road works and queues on the M6. So, what I want is to be told where I can find DCI Fraser. I also want a hot bath, cup of rosy, a decent meal and ten hours sleep. In that order. What I don’t want is to be left hanging for over an hour downstairs in the lobby while a bunch of Scottish plods play the fool and refuse to help.”

The cop looked pointedly at her, then at the door.
Milly closed her eyes and sighed. “He’s right behind me, isn’t he?”

“Aye, Detective Inspector Jenson, that I am.”

Milly spun around, her stomach tying itself in knots and trying to hide in her shoes. Her face burned.

A tall man, easily topping six feet leaned against the doorway, left hand in his trouser pocket. Dark curly hair framed his face, the faintly amused look on his face tempered by a furrowed brow and fire in his intense blue eyes. He wore a black shirt neatly tucked into black suit trousers, jacket hanging open, his grey tie fastened with a gold tie pin.

She took a deep breath and held out a hand. “DCI Fraser, I assume. I’m DI—”

“Late is what you are and I cannae abide lateness. I dinnae care to ken what you do or dinnae want. What I want is you in my office. Now.”
 
​Buy your Copy here:
http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_46&products_id=754
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<![CDATA[So. Cal.]]>Fri, 05 Aug 2016 15:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/so-calPicture
​As I write this, I’m looking out at sky that is murky brown. Smoke from last week’s devastating fire that took one life and destroyed eighteen homes still lingers in the air. My son who is a wildfire firefighter is on his way to another fire up north.
 
Such is life in Southern California.
 
Last week I was in San Diego for the national conference of Romance Writer’s of America. From my hotel window I had a spectacular view of the Coronado Bridge over the bay. I enjoyed the sunsets, listened to evening concerts from a nearby outdoor amphitheater and watched fireworks over the water.
 
That’s also life in Southern California.
 
I love the diversity of my state. Soon I hope to have a home in the pines next to Yosemite but right now, I live in the high desert, the central location for aeronautics testing. Think Chuck Yeager and the sound barrier, the dry lake where the space shuttle landed and rocket engine-testing for the Gemini program. Rusted metal stands stand climb to the sky in mute testimony to the closed space program. The stands were built on the side of a mountain and the rocket engines were attached for testing. Once they fired, soaring temperatures melted the rock, leaving behind slides of sheer rock on the cliffs.

When we first moved here, the area surrounding the base was full of green fields. Onions and alfalfa. Now the fields are full of solar panels and wind turbine farms. It’s been interesting to live close by, to watch these changes and technological advances. So interesting I wrote a romantic suspense about spies and a desperate race across the desert. It’s not released yet so I’m not allowed to talk about it, but this entirely possible, exciting adventure will be in included in an upcoming release.
 
I also live forty-five minutes from downtown Hollywood. I’ve spent many happy afternoons visiting TLC’s Chinese Theater (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre), the Hollywood Walk of Stars, and of course, the Hollywood sign. These iconic locations framed the backdrop of another sweet, recently completed love story called Falling Stars
 
I love to travel. That’s why my blog is all about different places. After sixteen books, I finally wrote two books about my own backyard. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed writing about the diversity of Southern California.






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<![CDATA[A war memorial in Vimy, France]]>Fri, 01 Jul 2016 16:00:42 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/a-war-memorial-in-vimy-franceBy Marilyn Leach
All around the world there are memorials to fallen soldiers, past conflicts, battles won and lost.  And, I shall never forget the first war memorial I visited overseas in Vimy, France.  It was dedicated to the Allied Forces that fought on behalf of the French people.

A tremendous battle took place there to turn back the encroaching enemy.

A tour guide took us into the trenches where he described what warfare was like for those who actually occupied the dirt ravines.  They were “home” for days on end for many men.  Light rain fell as we walked the trough.  Dirt became mud that absolutely clung to everything.  For the first time, I got a tiny taste of what trench warfare was like for our valiant soldiers.

Next, we went underground, into the tunnels.  This is where operations were headquartered.  I stood in the dirt cellars that were “offices” for officers and their enlisted aides who directed the warfare above them.

When we emerged, we were encouraged to browse the field, but only on walkways provided.  The guide informed us that unexploded ammunition still lurked throughout the grounds.
I was struck by the verdant green that now covered the dimpled fields, trees having taken root and grown into lush towers.  Sheep grazed in comfort.  This valley, once devastated by warfare, had taken on a new life of calm and repose.  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Then we walked to the large stone monument, several hundred feet tall, purest white with sculpted individuals representing the grief of nations.  It honored the twenty-four thousand people who fell in defense of freedom.  Awe came over me, much like when I enter one of the glorious European cathedrals.  In quiet, with nothing but the sound of soft rain and birdsong, I had the opportunity, the freedom, to stroll an honored space with an unspeakable sense of gratitude for those who stood and engaged the enemy.  A new appreciation for all who have served in the military took seed.

Indeed, I shall never forget the first overseas War Memorial I visited.  I only wish everyone could one day do the same.

About Marilyn Leach:

Marilyn Leach is a dyed-in-the-wool British enthusiast who lives lakeside near the Colorado foothills.  She enjoys viewing and reading mysteries that originate across the pond.  From the Scottish Boarders to Devon, city buzz to rural church bells, she enjoys excursions throughout the beautiful isle that inspire her writing.  Her dear friends, who have become like family, live in Reading, England.  

You can follow Marilyn here:
http://marilynleachteaandbooks.com

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Enigma of Fire: A Berdie Elliott Pentecost Mystery

Available for Pre-order next March on
Amazon.com

When English village, Aidan Kirkwood, experiences an explosive fire, the entire parish is aflame with rumor and innuendo until Berdie Elliott, the scorching sleuth and vicar’s wife, can douse the flames with cold, hard facts that expose the perpetrator.  A heroic dog, elusive book, and military champions come together to reveal the enigma of fire. 

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<![CDATA[Bandera, Texas….“the Cowboy Capital of the World”]]>Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:37:04 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/bandera-texasthe-cowboy-capital-of-the-world-by Pamela S Thibodeaux
​My first memory of Bandera, Texas was when I traveled with my grandparents to visit their friend. “Aunt Ellen” owned 3.5 acres of property in Bandera…48 miles NW of San Antonio. I remember sitting on the porch in the evenings with my Paw Paw and listening to the coyotes.

Me, MawMaw & Aunt Ellen

​Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Bandera is known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” and although a far cry from the vast mountains found throughout North America, there is something intimate and cozy–a serene, healing beauty in the landscape shaped by gorgeous rock formations and filled with lush greenery. Wildlife roam the area (you often have to stop and let a whole heard of deer cross the road!) and wildflowers (including Texas Blue Bonnets) bloom in colorful patches throughout the hilly terrain.

That memory stuck with me and twenty years later I wrote an entire series of western, inspirational romance novels set there. 
In 2001 my husband and I traveled to Bandera where I donated a copy of Tempered Hearts (book 1 in my series) to the local library and had a book signing at the only book store in town, which is no longer there. This quick trip was wonderful but it would be another nine years before I’d go back to the place that had touched my heart and fired my imagination so deeply.

On August 18, 2009 my husband passed away from a massive heart attack, so when I received an email about the “Saddle up and Write” retreat held at the historic Silver Spur Guest Ranch in May 2010, I jumped at the opportunity to attend.
As it turns out, that weekend and that ranch, literally changed my life!

The moment I turned on to Hwy. 16N and saw the sign stating Bandera was 32 miles I felt as though the world had lifted off my shoulders. When I pulled through the ranch gate, my soul sighed and I felt as though I’d come home. 
No, I’d never visited that ranch before and as you can see, my earlier trips to Bandera were few, far between and short. But after that retreat, I returned to live and work at the Spur and continue to do so today. In fact, I’ll be hosting a Beginning Writers’ / Authors’ workshop there July 8-10th! Details on that here.

There’s no doubt Bandera touched my heart as a child and changed my life as an adult.
So if you ever get a chance to head west, and want a great place to vacation in a family friendly environment, give Bandera, Texas a try!
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Author bio:
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”


​You can follow Pamela here:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  
Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com
Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

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Tempered Series Ebundle

Now all 4 titles in the Tempered Series by Pamela S Thibodeaux are combined into a single book along with a bonus short story and a sneak peek into #5 in the series Tempered Truth (coming sometime in the near future)! 

Contains: Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams, Tempered Fire, Tempered Joy, & Lori's Redemption

Start at the beginning and follow these beloved characters throughout the years as love crosses the lines of age and strengthens the bonds of friendship.
 
Nook: http://bit.ly/1Xv6l2Y
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1TlaExp
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1SzkRoi
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