Small Town Saturday: Texas Historical Markers

One of our favorite places to grab a good burger is Texas Burger in Madisonville.

Texas Burger is a chain that you'll find only in small towns it seems. They advertise their burgers as being Nolan Ryan's Grass Fed Angus Beef. They're really good.

To the left of the main entrance doors, there is what appears to be a historical plaque.

If you stop to read it and notice the words in the circle around the image of the state, you'll see it's not an actual Texas Historical Marker because those words say: State of Mind Histerical Committee. (Guess that's a mashup of historical and hysterical.)

Read the rest of the sign for a chuckle.

I wonder how many people--like me--actually pause in their quest for food to read this funny marker. I liked it so much I took a photo of it to share with you.

About Texas Historical Markers--The Real Ones

There are more than 16,000 of the real Historical Markers scattered on the highways and byways of the state commemorating the history of the Lone Star State. These markers are manufactured by the Southwell Company in San Antonio. Southwell has been in business since 1866, and they make the real historical markers plus any other plaque an individual or a company might want.
Real TX Historical Marker, Ft. Bend County Courthouse

In 1856, the first Texas historical site was to mark graves at the San Jacinto battleground, but the first official State of Texas Historical Monument was Dawson's Men and Mier Prisoners, placed in 1884 at the Fayette County Courthouse to honor the men of the Dawson Massacre and the infamous Black Bean Lottery of the Texas Revolution.

Takeaway Truth

I've always wanted to stop at these markers on the highways, but I rarely do. That's my loss.

5 Favorite Christmas Pop Songs, Carols, Movies, Food, Activities

Are you tired? 

Want to sit down and put your feet up? I do. To me, it seems like the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a timed marathon.

Chocolate Cures All Ills

Just in case your feet hurt, your back aches, and you just want to say the heck with it all, may I remind you that chocolate cures just about everything? Okay, it may not actually cure your aches and pains, but while it's melting in your mouth, you can focus on the deliciousness of it instead of your tired body.

In fact, you just may find yourself thinking--with not so much loathing--of all the things to do to prepare for Christmas. Have another piece of chocolate, and you might start thinking about all the fun things to do during the holidays. I started thinking of all the things I do at Christmas every year so I thought I'd group these Christmas Favorites into categories and give you 5 in each category.

Favorite Christmas Pop Songs (And the version I prefer)
1  Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)
2  Come Home for Christmas (The Eagles)
3  Santa Clause is Back in Town (Elvis)
4  Last Christmas (Wham)
5  Santa Baby (Bernadette Peters)

Favorite Christmas Carols
1 It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
2 O Little Town of Bethlehem
3 Do You Hear What I Hear
4 O Come, O Come Emmanuel
5 Silent Night

Favorite Christmas Movies
1 Love Actually (Funny, wise, wonderful!)
2 It’s a Wonderful Life (I still cry!)
3 A Christmas Story (I have a Red Ryder BB Gun!)
4 Die Hard (Christmas at Nakatomi Plaza)
5 The Ref (The Dysfunctional Christmas Story)

Favorite Christmas Food
1 My Mom’s Chocolate Bourbon Bon Bons (Oh, how I miss my Mom. She loved Christmas!)
2 My Sister-in-law Judy’s Coconut Cake
3 Chocolate Covered Cherry Bon Bons (chocolate, cherries, creamy liquid, yum!)
4 Texas Trash (my version of Chex Mix made with Tabasco, Tony Chachere Seasoning, Pecans, Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, and, oh yeah, Chex Cereals.)
5 Pralines (the candy of the South–instant inches to the hips, but oh so good!)

Favorite Christmas Activities
1 Nighttime Christmas Eve service at church.
2 The wrapping paper fight we have after all presents are opened.
3 Games with the family after Christmas dinner.
4 Caroling–either doing it or welcoming carolers.
5 New Year’s Eve party we give.

Takeaway Truth

What are your favorite things about Christmas? Dwell on the pleasure and not the grinchy stuff.

I've got to go glam up. We're going to a Christmas party tonight. Parties, another favorite Christmas activity.

Time Flies...Like a Fighter Jet

Is it just me or has the last 11 months simply flown by?

I mean, it's December!

How can that be? Just yesterday it was January, and I was making all these big plans for what I intended to do this year.

Now, 11 months later, I'm looking at the calendar and the list of things I wanted to do, and...well, it's difficult not to be discouraged.

Sure, I know how Real Life stomped on my plans this year, but I still thought I'd accomplish more than I have.

Do you have that same feeling?

Takeaway Truth

I guess there's always next year. Right? God willing.

Planned December Book Events On SlingWords

I have 3 GREAT book events planned for December.


Bargains on ebooks and box sets to help you find great gifts and stay on a budget. I also give step by step instructions on how to send an ebook when you don't know the recipient's email registered with Amazon.


All of these ebooks are $4.99 or less. Great deals. I repeat the step by step instructions on how to send an ebook when you don't know the recipient's email registered with Amazon. 


Boxing Day is perfect for Bargains on Box Set Collections, and I have a bunch for you to load up those eReaders you received for Christmas.

Didn't get one? Just download an app of your choice. That option always appears right below the price on the book's Amazon page.

I also repeat the step by step instructions on how to send an ebook when you don't know the recipient's email registered with Amazon in case you won't to give some ebooks to ring in the New Year.

Takeaway Truth

Mark your calendars because you won't want to miss any of these holiday book deals!

Review: The Brands Who Came For Christmas by Maggie Shayne

I finally made time to read and decided to tackle books that have been on my Kindle for--I hate to say this--years.

I always take advantage of free and bargain books and load my Kindle with them every chance I get. Sure, I get clunkers sometimes. (No, I won't review those. I don't believe in heaping pain on an author. There are many others who delight in doing that.)

Unfortunately, I don't read as much as I like to so some books have languished in my To Be Read stack for way too long. The book I'm reviewing today is one of those books that I picked up for free. I checked, and it's still free.

I started The Brands Who Came For Christmas by Maggie Shayne yesterday at a doctor's appointment, and I could not put it down. Office work, email, and such made me turn the Kindle off, but I got back to the book last night and didn't stop until about 1am when I finished.

What did I do then? I immediately went to the Kindle shop and downloaded Book 2, Brand New Heartache. I forced myself to turn my Kindle off then, but I plan to start Book 2 tonight.

Blurb from Amazon

Caleb didn’t know that one night of bliss last spring with small town beauty Maya Brand had resulted in a pregnancy, until the blackmail attempt arrived on his desk in an unmarked envelope, complete with photos of Maya with a belly out to there.

When he learns the truth, Caleb rushes back to Big Falls, determined to make it right despite what the scandal will do to his high profile career–the family legacy he had never truly wanted.

All he wants is Maya, and their child.

But can a girl whose father abandoned and betrayed her, ever truly believe in the goodness of a man who left town the morning after their one night stand? How can he convince her that he hasn’t stopped thinking about her since then, much less, do so with the whole world watching? He has to prove himself to a woman he’s not even sure he’s worthy of. But he has no idea how.

The Oklahoma All-Girl Brands is a six-book, small town, contemporary romance series with shades of HOPE FLOATS and YOU’VE GOT MAIL. Spin off of the bestselling Texas Brand Series.

My Thoughts

I loved this book.

It was a true page-turner with compelling characters and a captivating premise. Each of the characters is distinctive and piques your interest so much that you can't wait to read their stories which will happen since it's a 6-book series. At the same time you look forward to reading the other books in the series, you're also hoping that Caleb and Maya, the main characters in this book, will make an appearance in subsequent books because they seemed so darn real and likable.

There was one really hot sexual scene in the book so if that offends your sensibilities, you might want to pass on this. Other than that, the rest of the book is sensual without being sexual. All in all, it's funny in places, emotional throughout, and shows character growth. In other words, it's like life.

Even though it has Christmas in the title and the climax of the book occurs at Christmas, I wouldn't necessarily have described this as a Christmas romance. In looking at the Amazon page for this book, the category is Western Romance. I wouldn't call it that either. So perhaps the author was being canny and chose a category that doesn't have as stiff a competition as Contemporary Romance. (For all you authors out there, maybe that's something we should research.)

Takeaway Truth

I highly recommend  The Brands Who Came For Christmas by Maggie Shayne if you're looking for an absolutely captivating romance.

Black Friday Book Bargains: Dozens of Authors & Books

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! However, the celebrating is not over yet.

This year, I've brought back Black Friday Book Bargains to SlingWords.

Avoid the crowds and shop here for book bargains for yourself and your friends and family who read.

I've got dozens of books listed, and they're either free or only 99cents!

In most cases, this special pricing is for the holidays only or is a limited time introductory pricing for new releases. Many of these books will re-price after Cyber Monday. That means you should grab these books today before the price changes.

The buy link embedded in each title takes you to Amazon Kindle, but I'm sure these ebooks are available at all the major ebook sellers.

Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and start browsing for bargains here. I'll kick this book bargain bonanza off with the listings for a free Holiday Sampler containing all the first chapters of the Love, Christmas box set my friends and I published. That will be followed by a listing for the box set itself.

This is Book Bites 7: Holiday Sampler so you can "test drive" each story before you buy.

Book Bites 7: Holiday Sampler is FREE.

If you want to go straight to the most popular Holiday Romance Collection this year, then look at the Love, Christmas Romance Collection which is listed next.

Love, Christmas by 20 NYT, USAToday, & national bestselling authors
Holiday stories that will put a song in your heart!

Still the best-selling holiday collection since it's release in October.

Love, Christmas is 99cents.

Please visit The Author's Billboard to learn more about these authors.

A Groom for Christmas by Cara Marsi
Treat yourself to a taste of romance.

Family pressure just might make her do something crazy!

A Groom for Christmas is 99 cents.

Please visit Cara Marsi's Website to learn more about her books.

Romancing Christmas, Volume 2 by 7 Award-Winning Bestselling Romance Authors

From sweet to spicy, friends to lovers, from cowboys to babies and puppies, this holiday anthology has something for everyone.

Romancing Christmas, Volume 2 is 99cents.

Please visit Leslie Lynch's Amazon Author Page to learn more about her books.

The Christmas Piano Tree by Jina Bacarr
Once Upon a Story…

A war vet with a secret returns home to help a buddy’s widow get through the holidays.

The Christmas Piano Tree is 99 cents.

Please visit Jina Bacarr at Once Upon a Story Blog to learn more about her books.

Christmas at the Inn on Main Street by Authors of Main Street

A collection of 5 all-new Holiday Romances.

Christmas at the Inn on Main Street is 99 cents.

Please visit Authors of Main Street Blog to learn more about these authors.

 Love in Times of War by Uvi Poznansky, Tamara Ferguson, Jacquie Biggar, and 9 more Bestselling Authors

At no other point is passion put to the test as in dire times of war.

Love In Times of War is 99 cents.

Visit Jacquie Biggar at her Amazon Author Page.

Jorden: Book 3, The Justice Brothers Series by Taylor Lee

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages. HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart. Definitely bring a fan!

New Release! Limited time introductory pricing.

Jorden: Book 3; The Justice Brothers Series is 99cents.

Taylor Lee loves to connect with readers at her Newsletter.

Snow Dance by Alicia Street
Sweet or spicy--it's all about love.

A small town fisherman teaches a Broadway dancer to believe in love.

Snow Dance is FREE.

Please visit Alicia Street at her Amazon Author Page.

The Bride Wore Blue (Brides of Bath #1) by Cheryl Bolen

Nabob returns to England a rich man bent on wooing the impoverished, aristocratic beauty who saved his life six years previously—even if she doesn’t remember him.

The Bride Wore Blue is FREE.

Visit Cheryl Bolen at her website.

Beachcomber Wedding by Stephanie Queen

Is the notion of love and marriage more dangerous to PI partners Dane and Shana than the threat of a bomb at a wedding?

Beachcomber Wedding is 99cents.

Visit Stephanie Queen at her website.

A Groovy Christmas by Jan Scarbrough
Romances from the Heart

Revisit 1968 and 1969: A Groovy Christmas is a heartwarming Christmas tale like no other.

A Groovy Christmas is 99cents.

Visit Jan Scarbrough at her Amazon Author Page.

Sheer Pleasure by Patricia Rosemoor
Dangerous Love

One man fulfills her most sensual fantasies while another stalks her.

Sheer Pleasure is 99cents.

Visit Patricia Rosemoor at her website.

Reclaim My Heart by Donna Fasano

He has a teen-aged son he knows nothing about.

Reclaim My Heart is 99cents.

Visit Donna Fasano at her Amazon Author Page.

Invitation to Christmas by Bonnie Edwards

Bonnie Edwards, Earthy, Irreverent...Lovestruck

This Christmas, can Tom convince Jordyn their family can be blended in more ways than one?

Invitation to Christmas is 99cents.

Visit Bonnie Edwards at her website.

A Merry Little Christmas by Denise Devine

Merry Connor and Anthony Lewis search for treasure and find true love.

A Merry Little Christmas is 99cents.

Visit Denise Devine at her Amazon Author Page.

The Highwayman by Michele Hauf
Wickedly Enchanting Romance

He's chasing his demons...

The Highwayman is FREE.

Visit Michele Hauf at her website.

House of Cards by Juli D. Revezzo
Gothic Horror short story.

Can he thwart a fate worse than the guillotine?

House of Cards is 99cents.

Visit Juli D. Revezzo at her website.

Passion's Sacred Dance by Juli D. Revezzo

A mythic storm is coming. Can a Druid warrior stop it?

Passion's Sacred Dance is 99cents.

Visit Juli D. Revezzo at her website.

The Rancher and the Shepherdess by Caroline Clemmons
Historical and Contemporary Genre Fiction

Garrett McDonald agrees to marry a stranded mail-order bride, but she’s not what he expected.

The Rancher and the Shepherdess is 99cents.

Visit Caroline Clemmons at her Amazon Author Page.

LuvU4Ever by Joan Reeves
Bringing sexy back--one book at a time.

This Christmas, Noelle must decide if 9 little words can destroy a forever love. Recent Review: "This is one of the most erotic and romantic stories I've ever read. The background story sets everything up..."

LuvU4Ever is FREE.

Visit Joan at her Amazon Author Page.

Takeaway Truth

Why spend a tiring day pounding the pavement when you can spend a day at home, resting after the big feast, and shopping the easy way online? Tell your friends because this post will remain up.

Giving Thanks

I hope you have the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. This day of giving thanks is always special to me.

I'm thankful for a wonderful husband, children, and grandchildren--for friends far and near. I'm thankful for the readers who buy my books and enjoy them.

Takeaway Truth

Wishing you all peace, happiness, and good health in order to enjoy all your blessings.