Archive for January, 2014

Happy 153rd Birthday, Kansas!

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Today in 1861 Kansas finally become a state, after trying to get statehood for several years.

Stitch of Courage Audio BookHere’s an excerpt from my book Stitch of Courage to give you a feel of what the people felt when they heard the Territory of Kansas had become a state. I wrote this excerpt after reading accounts of that day from the Lawrence newspaper.

January 29, 1861

Covering my ears for what seems the hundredth time, I brace myself for the latest firing of Old Sacramento. Mounted on top of Mount Oread, the cannon echoes throughout the territory. Smoke hangs in the frigid air, slowly dissipating over the area, mixing in with the constant pealing of the church bells. We have had two weeks of heavy snows, but townspeople and country folk alike now ignore the cold and surge the street corners, hugging, laughing, and crying for our good fortune. Hundreds crowd around the bonfires in the snow-covered town, braving the blistering January weather to celebrate the news.

Delivered to Leavenworth by telegraph from Washington, D.C., then by rider to Lawrence, the long-awaited news that Kansas has been admitted to statehood invited the neighborhood to commence a loud celebration at nine o’clock tonight.

The turmoil of the territory is over! Kansas has finally been added to the stars of the Union flag today after seven long years of difficulty and struggle. Our state may be the most poverty stricken state ever to enter the Union, but we’re here today to see it happen. Even if 30,000 people abandoned the state last year because of the drought, others stayed on because they knew the times would get better.

This is a major victory over slavery, the South, and Missouri. The ruins of the fort are visible on top of Mount Oread where the battles for righteousness were fought. They tried to make Kansas a proslavery state, but freedom was ultimately won!

But among the cheering tonight I have overheard groups talking about the discord in the South. While we have fought so hard to enter the Union, there are Southern states leaving it. Until I moved to Kansas and witnessed the territory’s activities, I didn’t understand the feelings and passions that stirred my Kennedy family to get involved in what I viewed as politics. Witnessing the situation and getting older, I realize they were drawn to their actions out of necessity.

When I arrived in the territory in 1858, most of the fighting was over between the proslavers and free-state people. It was the Washington politicians that held up the final admittance to statehood.

My aunt, Margaret Kennedy, eight of her children, and their families and relatives traveled to the Kansas Territory in 1855. My brother, William James, trailed along, got work in a sawmill in Lawrence, and married fellow his traveler Lucinda Shields. Their moving to the new territory put them in the line of danger that threatened their lives and livelihood. Being strong Union patriots, they fought for the free-state issues and, luckily, survived the skirmishes.  (Stitch of Courage © by Linda K. Hubalek)

 I’m glad things worked out 153 years ago, because our prairie state is still a great place to live.
Happy Birthday, Kansas!


The Voice of Stitch of Courage

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Maggie Kennedy Pieratt, featured in the book Stitch of Courage by Linda K. Hubalek.

Maggie Kennedy Pieratt

Professional narrator Heather Farrar used her special voice to portray teenager Maggie Kennedy in the audio recording of my book Stitch of Courage. It was so much fun working on this project, and Heather did an excellent job of narrating this story.

My ancestors homesteaded in Kansas in 1854, during the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War era and I wrote their stories in  Stitch of Courage.  The story line is written as Maggie (my great great grandmother) writes to her sister Caroline, describing what was going on during that time frame.

Heather did an excellent job of narrating this story. It’s very rewarding to hear my ancestor come alive through this audiobook. Listening to “Maggie” (through Heather’s voice) made me feel like I was listening to her in person.

When I asked Heather for a quote for a press release, she said, “There are few chances in a narrator’s life when they are given the opportunity to step into the shoes of history through such a vivid character written as Maggie Kennedy. Voicing Maggie from a somewhat naïve’ fifteen year old girl from Ohio, to a matured young woman settled in the new state of Kansas during the Civil War, was not only a privilege, but a pleasure with Linda K. Hubalek’s brilliant and historically engaging writing. ”

Stitch of Courage Audio BookWant to hear a sample of Stitch of Courage now? Just click on this link, then look for the “Listen” button (below the book cover) to “hear” Maggie, my great great grandmother.

Audiobook Giveaway

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

New Audiobooks and a Giveaway for you

I wonder what my great great grandmothers would think of their stories being told by a voice coming out of …something that they had no clue what it was.

I’m sure they couldn’t fathom that a descendant wrote their stories into a book series, and that there was a device the size of a hand that could speak the story out loud.

So far seven of my books are on sale at Amazon’s Audible and iTunes, with the rest of them being available some time this month. (Butter in the Well and Looking Back will be available end of January.)

Please click on the individual covers to listen to samples of the stories.

planting dreams audio book.jpg    cultivating hope audio book    harvesting faith audo book

trail of thread audio book   thimble of soil audio book   stitch of courage audio book

butter in the well audio book   prairie bloomin audio book   looking back audio book

Want to win an audio copy of Stitch of Courage?

Sign up on my contest page by midnight January 17th. The winner will receive a code to download the audiobook from

Hello 2014!

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

2013 just flew by, and at times I wonder where I spent my time.

Well, I do know…My husband and I completed building our own home from scratch (it was a two-year project), and my dad fell and broke his hip (but back home with continual help from me and others). I also expanded my gardens this summer, and read a lot of books on my Kindle. (My current favorite genre at the moment is western romance.)

Kizzie's Legacy by Linda K. Hubalek2014 brings a new year, and plans for my 60th birthday. The Kansas Quilter series will be published this year, I’m going to take care of my body (I’ll eat only the best quality dark chocolate) and I’m going to enjoy life!

To celebrate the big 60, I’d like to go to Las Vegas to the National Rodeo Finals in December. Why you ask?

1) You see above what I like to read right now and there will be lots of cowboys there, 2) I grew up riding horses and going to rodeos, 3) I’d like to see Las Vegas once in my life. If any of you are rodeo fans and have been to the NRF, please send me a note of what to do while there.

Sound like a good plan? Please join me in my adventure this year as I ride, read, and write in the 1800’s and 2014!