20 years & Kindle Unlimited

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, western romance

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for your continual support of my writing. It’s been twenty years since I started Butterfield Books Inc., and I appreciate your support over two decades!

I have two series in the works right now that I want to tell you about.

Tying the Knot, the first book in the Kansas Quilter Series is already available, and there will be two more books in it. It’s about my great grandmother and her quilts.

Greta: Brides with Grit by Linda K. HubalekI’m also working on a new western romance series, tentatively titled Brides with Grit. This series features fictional characters ranching near cowtown Ellsworth, Kansas in 1873, and I’m having a blast writing the first book about Greta and Jacob. I’ll tell you more about the characters next month.

Here’s a photo taken from my great-grandparents album that I’m using as “Greta”. Of course there’s no name on the back of the actual photo…so I picked this one because both Greta (and her twin Gussie in book 3) have blonde braids.

Hopefully, these tidbits will keep you interested until my next books are available for you to enjoy!

Kindle Unlimited

The big news in the publishing industry is that Amazon recently started a ebook subscription called Kindle Unlimited- and I decided to be part of it. All Butterfield Books Inc. are in this program now. How does it work? The reader buys a monthly subscription for $9.99 (first month is free) then you can download ten books at a time, and enjoy reading.

The only catch for us authors is that the reader needs to read (or go through) 10% of the book for us to get paid, so please be sure to do that. We’ll all appreciate it!

Thanks! Linda Hubalek

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog, Butter in the Well book series, Kansas Quilter book series, Planting Dreams book series, western romance

Thanks to Terry Odell for invit­ing me to join in the Writ­ing Process Blog Tour, where writ­ers share their writ­ing processes. We were given four ques­tions to answer, so here are my responses.

What am I working on? Patching Home by Linda K. Hubalek

I’m working on Patching Home, the second book of the Kansas Quilter series, which is about my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt’s trip to the Indian Territory. This will be my twelfth book about pioneer women who homesteaded in Kansas. All my books so far have been based on my ancestors, their original homesteads, and the communities that grew around them. And I’m also putting together the outline for an eight book western romance series, set in 1873 around the Ellsworth, Kansas area, a real cow town back in the cattle drive days. I wrote a short story, The Perfect Homestead Bride for the anthology book, Lassoing a Groom, and I’ll be expanding the theme, only with fictional characters this time instead of real people like past books. Although this anthology is full of lighthearted sweet romance stories, my western series be more in tune with the actual real-life drama pioneer women went through to find a husband and a safe home.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Butter in the Well by Linda K. Hubalek. Published by Butterfield Books Inc.My first dozen books were based on real people—most of them my direct ancestors—with added real and fiction stories to fill out the time frame these people lived in. My Butter in the Well series was written in the form or diary entries to tell the story of the Swedish immigrant woman that homesteaded the farm I actually grew up on. The Planting Dreams series told of my paternal ancestors’ journey and homesteading days. My Trail of Thread series, written in the form of letters written back to family, tells the story of my maternal ancestors’ wagon train trip to Kansas. The book series continue telling the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War stories that rocked the state and the nation in Thimble of Soil and Stitch of Courage. I’m sure other writers have done similar themes, but my books also include photos of the families and township maps of where they lived.

Why do I write what I do?

I’ve always been curious about my Swedish ancestors, but I wanted to know more about them than just their birth and death dates. Why did they travel all the way from Sweden to the middle of the Kansas prairie? What did they think of the open plains when they first saw it? I wanted to learn about the actual person’s life, or dream of what it was like before my time. When I researched my next series I wanted to learn and tell how Kansans (and my relatives) were drawn into the Civil War even though all they wanted to do is build a new home for their families. I’ve been told I’m a good storyteller, even though my formal education wasn’t for writing. I guess I’m tying my agriculture degree with stories of pioneer women to fulfill the need of both writing and farming.

How does my writing process work?

Trail of Thread by Linda K. HubalekI have over twenty years of research material stashed in the basement, so I go through boxes and pull out files that I want to concentrate on. I put them in my desk drawer so I can easily look up facts and dates I want to add to the book I’m currently writing. Outlines scribbled on note pads become outlines typed up into a word document. Then I add more thoughts and facts, expanding the story line until they become scenes. Sometimes I know exactly where the story is going, and other times a scene might be moved into another book. And facts I find later may cause a story to change, mainly because my books were based on real people whose descendants are now reading the stories of their family, and I want the facts correct for them. I edit each time I read a section, but I like to wait a week or two between the second and third edit because by then I have moved on to other scenes and thoughts. When I read older work later I’m seeing it with a fresh mind again. All books are edited by a professional editor, and then I read them again before formatting  them into both digital and printed versions.  The books are published under Butterfield Books Inc.

Thank you, Terry Odell for including me in this blog tour. I appreciate the chance to connect with both current and future readers through this tour. Click­ing the link in Terry’s name will take you back to her stop on the tour, and you can go back or forward to read other author’s questions. Every author’s responses are unique, so please take a moment to read and enjoy them.

Lassoing a Groom

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, western romance

Lassoing a Groom- a western romance anthologyMy books about pioneer women tend to be quietly dramatic due to what life on the prairie was like for these women, so it was fun to write a sweet, humorous story for a western romance anthology, Lassoing a Groom that just came out by Prairie Rose Publications.

Here’s the theme for the six stories in the book.

How is a woman supposed to catch a husband? In the wild, wild west, she’s got to find a way to Lasso a Groom! Some of them are lawmen…some are outlaws. Ranchers and homesteaders are fair game, as well—none of ’em safe from love’s lariat, or the women who finally manage to rope ’em in!

Here’s the blurb about my story, The Perfect Homestead Bride.

Gussie Hamner paid cash for the abandoned Kansas prairie homestead near Ellsworth, Kansas with winnings her horse Nutcracker won against cowboys coming off the cattle trails. She plans to raise horses on her ranch, but disturbing happenings around the place and with her animals cause Gussie to worry about the safety of all that is dear to her.

Noah Wilerson left his sod house in Kansas to travel to Illinois, planning to marry and bring his sweetheart back to his new homestead. After finding his intended already married, Noah travels home to find it’s been taken over by a horsewoman in trousers.

Pushed together by well-meaning family, Gussie and Noah must work together to finish the homestead he started, but she bought to make into a perfect home and ranch for the future family she’s been dreaming of.  But danger lurking from the past may sabotage their work and lives now—and in the future.

Click now to read the start of The Perfect Homestead Bride. For more information on all the stories in Lassoing a Groom, go to Prairie Rose Publications too. Please enjoy these fun western romance stories. It was fun to participate in this book!

Planning a 90th Birthday Party

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

Cake stand-1949Even though my mom has a computer, she’s not savvy on it, so I think I’m safe to say me and my siblings are working on a picture book to celebrate her 90th birthday this month.

But don’t tell her because it’s a surprise…although dad got a book for his 90th birthday last year so I’m sure she’s expecting it…but doesn’t know the theme yet.

When going through old photos to put in this book, one thing that kept popping up was birthday photos. “Us kids” are standing by a frosted cake, usually on a particular glass cake stand. There are candles on each cake, and I’ve gotten my magnifying glass out to count them if there wasn’t a date on the photo. (Pictured here is my brother’s first birthday cake in 1949.)

There’s enough “cake” photos that it became the theme for the book—not only birthdays, but for anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and Mother’s and Father’s Day.

We all have our favorite kind of cake, so it will be an angel food cake on the cake stand when we celebrate mom’s birthday next week.

70th wedding anniversaryIt was also interesting that I found photos of my great grandparent’s Ira and Kizzie, celebrating their special days with a cake too—including their 70th wedding anniversary in 1964.

My Kansas Quilter series is about this special lady. The first book Tying the Knot is done and now I’m working on the next book Patching Home. Maybe I’ll work a birthday cake scene in this book since I’m putting together a 90th birthday party now…

Contests to win new book, Tying the Knot

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

Author Linda Hubalek and great grandmother

Kizzie Pieratt & Linda Hubalek, 1959

Enter contests for my new book Tying the Knot

Please enjoy my new book, post a review online somewhere, and tell your friends and family about it. I appreciate it!

AND, there are three places you can win free books.  I’m giving away three print copies of Tying the Knot at a Goodreads contest. If you want to win one of five ebook copies, either go on my author website or Facebook contest.

Who is in this photo with this blog? It’s me at age five with my great grandmother Kizzie, who was age 85 at the time, taken back in 1959. It’s hard to believe the influence she had on me at a young age, but I must have been impressed with her stories even back then.

Enjoy my new book from the Kansas prairie!

Tying the Knot is done!

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

Tying the Knot by Linda K. HubalekI wrote in my diary on April 24, 1982 that I wanted to write a book about my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt and the many quilts she made. Although that idea started my writing career, I didn’t get around to starting on Kizzie’s book until 2003. Then other things in life took priority…

Now I’m proud to say the first book in my great grandmother’s story Tying the Knot is finally out this week! The Kansas Quilter series starts with my ancestor’s decision to leave their rented Kansas farm to move to the Indian Territory in 1902 (before Oklahoma became a state). Although the story line is fiction, I worked in facts and family photos as Kizzie prepares for their wagon trip. Some of the many quilts Kizzie made are woven into the story and I have photos of them in the book too.

I wonder what Kizzie would have thought of her quilts being featured in a book. Like most women, she probably be proud of some of her quilts, and wished I had left others out! But all these quilts are special to me, first when they kept me warm on winter nights as a child, and now as I write about them 50 years later.

If you’ve read my Trail of Thread series, this new series continues with Kizzie Pieratt, who would have been Maggie Kennedy Pieratt’s daughter-in-law. Maggie was featured in Stitch of Courage, and this is her grown childrens’ story.

 

Looking Back, Again

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Butter in the Well book series

Looking Back Audio BookMy book, Looking Back just became available as a downloadable audio book on Audible.com. I wrote this book in 1994 and it is the fourth book in the Butter in the Well series. The story is about the Swedish immigrant woman that homesteaded the farm that I grew up on in central Kansas. Kajsa Runeberg homesteaded the land in 1868, and moved off the farm and into town in 1919.

This book was easy to write emotions into because I slept in the bedrooms, ate meals in the kitchen, and roamed the same fields that Kajsa originally plowed. I poured my thoughts into Kajsa’s words, because I had also felt them being in the same place, although in a different century.

I wrote the whole book in six weeks because the story just flowed out of me as I put down the thoughts of living on the farm myself.

And now, twenty years later, I listened to the words I wrote back then, as I reviewed the narrator’s version of the book. Not only did I remember scenes of my childhood this time, but my life’s events twenty years ago when I wrote the book.

You might say I was “Looking Back” on my life too, and enjoyed it.

Kansas Snowstorm, Birds and Gray Cat

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Birds during KS snowstormHello from snowy Kansas! We could get up to a foot of snow before this storm is over, but I’m staying warm and cozy in my office today. The electricity is still on and I’m typing away, while watching the snowy scene just outside my window.

I have three bird feeders right outside my office window. I took the window screens off, and have a bench right up against the window so my male cat, “Gray Cat” can sit and watch all the birds- while only being a few inches from the action.

Occasionally he’ll forget himself and lunges for a bird, but he usually just sits enthralled there for quite a while- until it’s time to take another nap.

Enjoy your day, whether your watching snow, birds or something else!

Gray Cat and birds

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.

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