Friday, June 27, 2014

Off-Grid in Yellowstone for a Fairytale Wedding

We just got back from a wonderful week in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. My daughter married her Prince Charming and we all did a whirlwind tour of the park and the adjacent Grand Teton National Park. We topped it off with an awesome trail ride and when we stopped at my daughter's house on the way back to California to take my dad home, I had a renewed enthusiasm for my horses, who are now enjoying life, grazing on real pasture there.

Camping in the RV in Yellowstone was an interesting experience in being off-grid. We got to test the limitations of our coach batteries, our solar panels and our refrigerator. Also, since my dad and my oldest son and his family stayed in the RV with us, we got to test our endurance! All kidding aside, it was great fun to camp out for a week with old, new and extended family.

I am excited to be able to report, in upcoming posts, on our successes with our system, as well as the bugs we need to continue working out. This was also our first attempt at towing another vehicle with the RV. We gained a new perspective by actually being the big, dumb motor home slowing everybody else down! We tried to use as many turnouts as possible, but getting going again, from a complete stop, uphill, with a tow car, is really an exercise in frustration.

For more on our adventures in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, also see upcoming posts on our sister blog, A Simple Catholic

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

Soap on the Road

Keeping the Water Flowing

A New Direction

Mobilizing the Homestead

Monday, June 9, 2014

Truth Be Told - Book Review

Now that I’m finally back online, having weathered bad internet connections, crashed computers (plural!), a funeral and a wedding, I have to tell about a fantastic new historical fiction novel by a favorite author and friend, Carol Cox. Hot off the press, just in time for summer reading:

Truth Be Told, by Carol Cox

 Amelia Wagner steps off the train for her yearly visit with her father, investigative reporter and editor of the Granite Springs, Arizona “Gazette”, A.J. Wagner. What she finds is a series of seemingly unsubstantiated articles in her father’s newspaper, suggesting corruption in the Great Western Investment Company, the developers buying up much of the land around the town. Great Western sends handsome Ben Stone to spy on Amelia, but what happens next turns the tables on their land-grabbing scheme. As Ben and Amelia seek out the truth – Ben to clear Great Western and Amelia to clear her father’s name – they discover much more than lies and intrigue. Will they survive to bring the truth to light?

Once again, Carol Cox brings 1890’s Arizona to life. Set within a day’s ride of Prescott, Arizona, locals with a general knowledge of the old Peavine railway route can almost pinpoint the fictitious town of Granite Springs. Budding journalist Amelia Wagner may have some traits of Carol herself, in the way she researches her subjects. Carol loves Arizona history and has traveled all over the state researching life in the 1890’s for her various writings. For Truth be Told, she met with Sky Shipley, owner of Skyline Type Foundry in Prescott,  one of only 3 type foundries left in the United States. Sky tutored Carol in the printing and operation of  a newspaper in the late 19th century, so that she could write with authenticity about the day to day work that went into gathering news and publishing it during that time period. I enjoyed recognizing the Hotel Burke as the present-day Hotel St. Michael in Prescott and suspected that the Eleventh Infantry Band, from nearby Fort Whipple, was the real deal. I thought the most delightful plot twist was how Amelia helped Ben to resolve his own secret crisis, without even knowing it.

Carol Cox specializes in romantic Christian historical fiction, set in our beloved Arizona. In addition to traveling to areas of the state where she places her settings and delving into local history and characters, Carol also draws on her own experience, as an Arizona native and wife of an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

Truth Be Told is available in paperback or ebook format from Baker Publishing, $14.99. Also available from Amazon and other distributors.

Many thanks to Carol Cox and Bethany House Publishers (parent company of Baker Publishing) for providing me with a free review copy of this book. As always, looking forward to your next one!

If you enjoyed this review, you might like these:

Gladius the Show - Review
Love in Disguise - Review
Jungle Doctor and the Whirlwind - Review
Trouble in Store - Book Review