Two Things I Miss Most About South Texas in the Spring

My book tour in Texas is coming up the week of March 26 (see details on the events here), and I’m so looking forward to not only the book events themselves, but just being in Texas in the spring.

This time of year is actually when I miss home the most. Where I’m at (high in the Colorado mountains west of Denver), we’re still very much in winter mode. March and April are our two snowiest months of the year. The huge blizzard of 2003 when we got 9 feet of snow — not a typo, that’s 9 feet — occurred in March. We just had windchills that were near 20 below in the past week. Our doors were frozen shut.

So, the thought of being in that warm, albeit humid, Texas air is exciting right now. I’m bringing my flip-flops, y’all! (I don’t think my mother will let me wear them to the book signings, though. And I’m pretty sure my ankle surgeon would not approve.)

Two more things I miss about home this time of year?

Spring in Texas. Photo credit: CC license 2.0

First, the wildflowers. The fields of bluebonnets that look like a sea of blue. The red paintbrushes (we always called them Indian Blankets). The pink buttercups. The list goes on. There’s nothing quite like a drive down a rural Texas highway in March and seeing the beautiful colors lining the roadways and dotting the pastures along the way. Our wildflower season at 10,500 feet above sea level is in late June and early July, so this trip in two weeks is going to be a real treat.

Secondly, and most importantly, I miss my mom’s lemon icebox pie. She always makes a double recipe for Easter Sunday. (Well, because we love it so much, she’s now starting making it at Christmas, Thanksgiving or anytime my son will be around! Spoiled kid.) I’ve tried making it up here a dozen times and it never tastes as good as hers. She uses the organic lemons that she and my dad grow there in Gonzales, Texas, which probably makes all the difference in the world.

I hope she doesn’t mind that I share her recipe below.

These things are seriously good. And since they are baked, I take it to mean I can eat the whole bag.

In other very exciting news, Blue Straggler is now on an bestseller list!  It hit the top 20 best sellers in ebooks/comic fiction on Friday. That meant, of course, that I celebrated all weekend. (Send vodka replenishment and those Snappea Crisp things.)

Mom’s Lemon Icebox Pie

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Beat the above ingredients until smooth. Pour into a 9-inch graham cracker pie shell. Spread whipped topping (or make your own whipped cream!) over the top of the pie.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours before serving.

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Great Reviews and Book Tours Are Making Me Consider Spanx

Blue Straggler’s official release date last week was A-MAZING. I mean, we’re talking an all-out love fest! Readers were buying it, talking about it, posting reviews. (And not just my mom, either, for you cynics out there.)

The cake my husband and son brought home to celebrate launch day!

In fact, as of this writing, the novel has 38 reviews on and an average 5-star rating. Can I get a yeehaw? I’m just so grateful to everyone who has read the book and thought it worthy of a positive review.

I also am solidifying my book tour dates here in Colorado and back home in Texas. (There may be one in Seattle, too!) But I’m starting to get a little nervous. Why? Because I’ll be the center of attention at such events, I do not like being the center of attention at such events, and basically, doing a book tour is like combining five or six high school reunions and family weddings all in one month or so of happenings. But, no pressure or anything.

This is NOT me in Spanx.

Now, I’m usually a pretty laid-back person when it comes to my appearance. I am comfortable with who I am and have found, at age 42, that I can even like myself some days. (Those are still rare days, but they do occur.) I am the kind of person who would never in a million years consider wearing shapewear (i.e., Spanx®) because I prefer to be able to breathe in and out without pain.

But still. People will be LOOKING at me. Bleh!

So I thought I would let all of those people who will be attending a book tour event, and who haven’t seen me in 10 or more years, know a few things up front. I think it’ll be easier on us all to just get these things out in the open prior to the event, so we can move on to drinking wine and/or coffee.

  1. I will not be wearing Spanx, and I’m sorry for what that means for my side profile.
  2. I have grown some additional chins, and I’m afraid they are here to stay. They have names.
  3. The Colorado air is awesome, but very dry. This means that I will have more wrinkles than all you South/Central Texas byotches who don’t even have to moisturize because the humidity stays at 90 percent.
  4. I wear glasses now if I need to see anything in the distance, but I don’t like wearing them much. So if I’m not wearing my glasses, and you wave to me from across the room, do not take it personally when I do not wave back.
  5. For about a year now, I have been experiencing robust, random hot flashes. We’re talking the kind that makes me want to strip down to my underwear and sit on a block of ice in the shade. The hot flashes are made worse by things like wine, coffee, Colorado fireplaces and Texas heat. All of which I still love and enjoy. So be warned.
  6. My sense of fashion has not evolved since the last time you saw me and in some cases I may still be wearing the same pair of Justin boots I wore in 1998.
  7. I used to wear makeup like a good Texas girl, but now I’m more like a Colorado hippie. That means that what you once believed was my true complexion was probably wrong.

Well, there you go. It’s all out there now. I feel so much better. Do you?

Details are still being nailed down for many of my book tour dates, but I do have one that I can pass along! I’ll be in Bryan-College Station, Texas (Texas A&M graduates like me call that the Mecca) on Wednesday, March 28, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Downtown Uncorked wine bar in Bryan. I’ll be signing and selling books and drinking large amounts of wine. Please join me and bring 100 of your closest friends!

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