Sunday, May 20, 2012

Guest Kathleen Ball

Our guest today is Kathleen Ball. She will first review a wonderful book I've had on my bookshelf for years, titled Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine. The four sections of the book have headings such as those in the title, and they are actually names of frontier quilt patterns.
The other two patterns used are Log Cabin and Lone Star.
Welcome, Kathleen!

Kathleen's review of Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine
Jo Ella Exley complied a collection of incredible writings of frontier Texas through the eyes of Texas Pioneer women. From what she named the Log Cabin: Colonization of 1821--35 to the Texas Sunshine: The Last Frontier, 1865--1905.

It’s a book telling of hardship, illness, deprivation and death. These remarkable women persevered and survived. They are an example of the resilience of the human spirit. Their faith and strength of character got them through the immense difficulties. These women built Texas.

One narrative that really struck me was the story of Rachael Parker Plummer. On May 19, 1836 married with a young son, Indians near Fort Parker captured her, which is present day the town of Groesbeck. They soon separated her from her son and she became a slave of the Comanche’s. She gave birth to her husband’s child and it was murdered in front of her.

A Mexican trader eventually bought her. When asked, she was told that her husband, mother and father were all still alive. When she mentions her reunion of her family, she talks about her parents and the whole town embracing her. There was no mention of her husband.

It made me mad. She survived and he wasn’t there. Not uncommon, but sad.

I found this book riveting. Each woman’s story is different but they all had a common goal to thrive in the Texas frontier.

(Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine can be found on Amazon)


Callie Daniels' mother has one dying wish. She wants neighboring rancher, Garrett O'Neill, to marry her seventeen-year-old daughter. Callie knows it’s not supposed to be a conventional marriage. Garrett O'Neill would keep Callie's ranch safe and Callie would go away to college.                                                         

Four years later, Callie comes home with stars in her eyes and happily ever after in her heart. She plans to make their marriage real until finds the new housekeeper, Sylvie in Garrett's arms.

Heartbroken, Callie moves out. She sustains injuries from her horse and Garrett forces Callie to move back in to his house.

Callie finally gets her heart's desire. Alone in a line shack, they make sweet love for the first time. Unfortunately, the love light is gone from Garret's eyes the next morning.


She knew that it wasn't a real marriage. Somehow, her heart became involved. The truth cut painfully. Callie walked over to the full-length mirror and gazed at her reflection. Her skin appeared too white and her blonde hair too dark. A few weeks in the Texas sun would take care of that. Her sadness reflected back to her in her violet eyes. Sometimes people stared at her eyes they were an unusual color.

She shook head in disgust, went to her closet, and found a pair of her old jeans and a faded red t-shirt. She couldn't believe she had worn a dress and left her hair down for her supposed husband. No more pretending to be anything other than a rancher. Dressed in her normal clothes, she pulled on her old scuffed boots and tried to smile.

Looking in the mirror again, Callie braided her hair down her back. Her heart still broke, but she refused to cry. Putting on her black Stetson, she walked out of her room and out of the house. It wasn't her house anymore. It never was. They had decided to close up her homestead and have her move into Garrett's farmhouse. It had all been an illusion, the same as her marriage.

The newly painted barn looked good. Callie's step lightened as she made her way to her horse, Pirate. Pirate had been her horse since forever. He'd been a gift from her father. From the first time she sat on Pirate's shiny black back, the two had become inseparable. Laughing as Pirate nickered at her; she opened the stall and walked in. Immediately she hugged her best friend, wishing she could just cry against his neck.

It surprised her to see Garrett waiting on his porch when she led Pirate out of the barn. Callie looked away and jumped onto the saddle. She knew he wanted to say something but she just couldn't. Turning Pirate, she headed out toward open land.~*~

Buy links


About Kathleen Ball
A voracious reader, Kathleen quickly discovered the world of romance novels and she knew she was home. At the encouragement of her sister Tricia, she decided to try writing. Kathleen wrote her first book three years ago. She was shocked to find out that people loved what she wrote. All of Kathleen's novels are award winners.

Callie's Heart is her first published novel. It is the first book in The Lasso Springs Series. Kathleen lives in Texas. She moved there from Rochester, New York. She is having the time of her life exploring Texas culture.

Kathleen is married to her wonderful husband Bruce and they have one son, Steven a Marine. They just welcomed new additions to their family, a new daughter in law, Brittany and her cute as a button son, Colt.

She feels blessed to be supported in her writing by her family and friends.



  1. Kathleen, I also love TEXAS TEARS AND TEXAS SUNSHINE. It is a poignant read, but I refer to it often. And I also enjoyed Callie's story, which I read some months ago. Best wishes for continued success in your career, and thank you for beign our guest at Sweethearts of the West.

  2. What a great interview! I have Callie's book and am anxious to read it


  3. Kathleen, I am so excited Julianne posted information about this interview. I LOVED Callie's Heart. The interview on Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine was great. I can't wait to read it.
    Thank you for sharing your talent!

  4. Both of these books sound engrossing. Great interview!

  5. Love Kathleen Ball's work I saw Callie's Heart has over 100 likes on Amazon.. Kathleen Shine on you are awesome.

  6. Great interview, Kathleen! I also loved Callie's Heart. I read it twice, it was that good. Can't wait for your next book.

  7. I was lucky enough to read one of her novels before it went to a publisher. I had never read a romance novel until I read her work on Textnovel. I was not disappointed.

    Stefan Ellery

  8. Kathleen is a very talented author! She is certain to go far in her career! Keep up the good work Kathleen and Great Interview!

  9. Until I got Callie's Heart I had never tried reading contemporary western romance. This book and Kathleen's style of writing and her voice have converted me over to western romance.

  10. It's fun to have you here, Kathleen. Your stories are where my heart is, too. It is so amazing how strong the women of the west were even though the men got so much credit.

    Wishing you the best with lots of readers.

  11. Nice review for Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine. May just have to check it out. I’ve had the pleasure of reading Kathleen Ball’s amazing debut page-turner Callie’s Heart. What a gifted writer. Loved the novel!!

  12. Love the interview, Kathleen. What a tragic, heart tugging account! And congrats on your book. I love then premise.
    So enjoyed your visit this weekend here at Sweethearts!

  13. Love the interview, Kathleen. What a tragic, heart tugging account! And congrats on your book. I love then premise.
    So enjoyed your visit this weekend here at Sweethearts!

  14. I'm reading Callie's Heart now and so far I'm really enjoying it. Kathleen's work is impressive. She uses proper grammar and writes the story in a manner that really grabs the reader's attention. I can't wait to finish this book and I'll be buying her other novels as soon as they're published! :-)

  15. Great interview! It blows my mind to think of what those brave women went through. And I'm definitely getting my own copy of Callie's Heart. It sounds like a lovely story and I look forward to reading it.

  16. Two books to add to my tbr list :-) Great interview.

  17. HI Kathleen, Welcome to Sweethearts! It is remarkable what the women of the past did to survive and how much strength they had to have. Both the book you reviewed and your book sound interesting.

  18. Thank you to Celia Yeary and everyone at Sweethearts of the West. I'm honored that I was asked to guest blog.

  19. Kathleen-we enjoyed your post and excerpt very much. You've been a wonderful guest--thank you, and best of luck with your book. It does sound very good.


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