Today we’re escaping for the weekend with my author friend, Lynette Sowell, to Central Texas, USA. Lynette is giving us a tour of her home state and sharing her love for the Lone Star State. Enjoy!
Cowboys, soldiers, and wide open spaces
By Lynette Sowell
Welcome to my neighborhood! I love to travel the country (and the world) sometimes through books, but I thought I’d let you have a glimpse of where I’ve called home for over twenty years now—Central Texas.
Most people think about cattle, wide open spaces, pickup trucks, cowboys and such, when they think about Texas—and all those things are true. Within a few minutes’ drive of my city, you’re in the Hill Country, where they do have cattle and ranches.
But what I love most about the area, besides those wide open spaces, is being so close to Fort Hood. I can dine ’round the world and never leave home. We have a large expatriot community here from transplants as far away as the South Pacific!
As a local newspaper reporter, I get to enjoy time with those of many varied backgrounds, like recently attending a 70th anniversary celebration commemmorating the liberation of Guam from the Japanese. The island folks had a big party here, complete with roasted pig, pancit (with Spam) and other yummies.
In our part of Texas, the cavalry is still alive and well, and the Army’s First Cavalry division still has a horse detachment that rides and trains. Their purpose is ceremonial, and they along with their mounts travel around for parades and public events.
Texas has big churches, but it also has small community churches that have been around for more than a century. Immanuel Lutheran Church recently celebrated its 125th anniversary—a big milestone.
When driving through the Texas countryside, you never know when you’ll come upon an encouraging word, like with this church sign. I drove past it one very busy morning, when I had a lot on my mind and much to do. Glimpsing this sign made me feel as if I’d had a nudge from a friend, telling me I wasn’t alone with my concerns and I should probably fret a lot less.
That’s why when I decided to write a contemporary Texas series, I chose to set it in the fictional town of Starlight, Texas—not far from Fort Hood. Inside the three titles—Catch A Falling Star, Counting on Starlight, and The Sweetheart of Starlight—I’ve put many of my favorite things about Central Texas inside their pages: wide open spaces, fickle weather to include hail storms, heat, ice storm and a tornado;/ a kaleidoscope of characters to include transplants from other parts of the country, as well as Germany and Korea; along with high school football and barbecue, all wrapped up in a small town with a view that goes on for miles.
Thanks for stopping by and reading about my corner of the world, deep in the heart of Texas!
Here’s more about Catch A Falling Star:
Justine Campbell would gladly rewind her life a few months…back before it crumbled around her like so much gilded plaster. Billy Tucker could use a rewind button, too. He’d go back to the day before his humvee exploded in Iraq, injuring himself and killing two of his buddies. Billy’s bitterness and Justine’s humiliation make for a prickly pair when they first meet, but can either of them let go of the past long enough to let God make their paths straight again?
LYNETTE SOWELL is an award-winning author with New England roots, but she makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas Hill Country with her husband, her dog Mocha, and a duo of spoiled cats. When she’s not writing, she chases down stories for the local newspaper and is always up for a Texas road trip.