Well we're heading into our 3rd week on the book tour! This week we get to spend time with our daughter Jen and see her graduate from Harvard and hopefully I'll have some photos next week.
This last week we finished up with Minneapolis - thankfully before the tornadoes hit, but we have been praying big time for all the storm hit locations. I had a signing in St. Joseph, Michigan where the fog was quite thick. Here we are with Lindsay and her mom Lori. They run a small store in Monticello, MN. They were such fun!
We saw a couple of really neat old school houses. This one was in Northwest Minnesota.
And this one is an active museum called West Riverside Museum School near Cambridge, MN.
Then Jim and I had a wonderful dinner in Grand Rapids with Dwight and Tammy Baker (Dwight's at the head of the table and Tammy is to his right in green). Dwight heads up Baker Publishing. Also in attendance were a variety of fun folks. Chris Jager (dark shirt), the Baker Book House fiction buyer, Sue and Mike (behind me on the right)from the Baker Book store and Ray and Ann Byle (in the front), a freelancer for the Grand Rapids Press. The Bakers fixed a delicious meal and we very much enjoyed the fellowship and laughter.
I spoke that night at the Baker Book Store and had a great group in attendance. We had a great time laughing and enjoying the night.
The next day I was in Defiance and Lima, Ohio before moving on the New York. The drive to Johnson City was incredibly beautiful. We stopped at Lake Chautauqua and enjoyed the scenery.
I spoke and signed books in Johnson City at Arrowhead Christian Bookstore. Those folks know how to make an author feel welcomed - they had a chocolate fountain.
Now, as I mentioned we're off to Boston to see Jen graduate.
I'm having a great time on the booktour. I've met so many wonderful people and have very much enjoyed getting to share with them why I write and how much I love the Lord.
We battled the waterlogged areas of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. I hope you'll continue to pray for those folks. They are quite desperate to get crops planted in soggy fields and to see life return to normal. There's some mighty beautiful farm country in Northern Minnesota!
We have spent all week in Minnesota and enjoyed learning a little of the history. We were on the banks of Muskeg Bay at Warroad and learned that the area long ago had a fort and was considered the western capital of the French empire in the Northwest.
I did an event in Hallock and met the wonderful Peggy Pearson who runs the library in Hallock, Minnesota.
I did an event in Greenbush, MN.
"Sha Ach Wah", which means spruce tree or green bush in Chippewa, the local Indian language, was the inspiration for the name of the city of Greenbush. Angie Peterson (no relation that I know of) was the one who encouraged my coming to Minnesota for the various libraries of the Northwest. It was definitely a great idea.
We spent several nights in Thief River Falls, Minnesota - so called because - The name of the river is a loose translation of the Ojibwe phrase, Gimood-akiwi ziibi, literally, the "Stolen-land river" or "Thieving Land river," which originated when a band of Dakota Indians occupied a secret encampment along the river, hence "stealing" the land, before being discovered and routed by the neighboring Ojibwe.
We've got to see crop dusters
and neat cemeteries. Jim managed to snap pictures of gravemarkers - this one with the 23rd Psalm in Swedish at the cemetery in Upsala, MN.
The travel definitely keeps us busy, but I am so blessed. Jim and I have spent time talking to so many of the readers and praying with them. It's been a great way to spend my "summer vacation."
For the next month my husband and I are traveling on booktour. For the details of where I'll be and when - go to my website www.traciepeterson.com and click on EVENTS.
Anyway, I wanted to share some of the wonderful things we'll be doing. Today we plan to tour the Chateau De Mores and I thought you might like to come along.
The Marquis De Mores - a dashing Frenchman
built this house as a summer house where he could bring his family and escape the bustle of New York. The Marquis hosted many famous people included Teddy Roosevelt. The nearby town of Medora was named for his wife.
The 26 room house was dubbed The Chateau by the locals, but to the family it was a summer getaway and hunting lodge. I've put in the following video that shows a little about the chateau and the family. It runs about nine minutes long, but is definitely interesting. I hope you enjoy it.
We all have those things we want to try our hand at - one of mine was driving a stagecoach. So on the 23rd of April, my dream came true. :) The hardest part was climbing up into the driver's seat.
You can see in this photo that the wagon wheel was nearly as tall as me. I'm standing there contemplating the wheel while another gal comes to help me. The horses, Pat and Peg (gorgeous 1/2 Belgian - 1/2 Quarterhorse were quite anxious to get going and decided to start up while I was climbing. I did a sort of loggers roll off the wheel and had to start all over in my climb up. Now I know why overweight, middle-aged women were NOT stagecoach drivers.
Finally, however, I got my seat -
and my instructions and I was given the reins to Pat and Peg. Let me tell you - the arm muscle required to hold a team like that in check is something else. I cannot imagine driving for hours upon hours. My hands felt cramped after 15 minutes.
It was amazing fun and gave me a big appreciation for my historical novel characters - both those riding the stage and driving it. Later that same day, we were able to view the yearly event that I call the "Running of the Horses".
Every year we go down to Three Forks, Montana where one Montana family moves their horses from winter pasture to the mountain pastures for summer. They run the horses right down Main Street and folks turn out from all over the country to see the sight. Some even pay to ride at the back of the herd in order to participate.
We always have a good time, eat BBQ and later that night there's even a country dance, but I've never stayed for it. I never really learned to dance and it's not on my list of things I have to do, so I'll stick with driving horses.
Next week I'm off on a Tour Across America - speaking and signing books from May 14-June 11th. Check out my website www.traciepeterson.com and Click EVENTS for the list of all the locations. I might just be in a place near you and I'd love to see you.
This week I'm happy to introduce a guest blogger. Angie and I met a while back and she has helped me with research on a book coming out in the fall. I hope you enjoy getting to know Angie Breidenbach and her new book Gems of Wisdom. Take it away, Angie!!
So How Do You Pray Anyway?
I used to think prayer had to be very formal. You know, the folded hands and bowed head. Could God hear me if I didn't follow all the rules? Why did He want to listen to me anyway?
Do you ever feel like that? Like God's just too big way up there in the sky to listen to little me?
Then He did something really spectacular. He answered a whisper. And He caught my attention.
I started trying different ways of praying. Sometimes they were a few words, a song, or even a laugh full of gusto. But the more I started to mentally direct my thoughts into a prayerful attitude, the more I began to see the answers.
The answers were not a surprise to God, but they sure were to me. I wanted to learn how to recognize when God was answering my prayers so I started to journal them on one side of a page and then when I knew I had an answer, I wrote it on the opposite side. I kept this notebook for several years. In fact, I found it under some other books recently and started looking through the unanswered prayers. Do you know what happened? I began filling in blank after blank after blank. God had been faithfully answering me. He surprised me again. I decided He's totally in the job of surprise.
Now I pray in any way that's appropriate for the moment. Sometimes that even includes getting down on the floor, allowing the tears to come, and letting the Holy Spirit take my silent prayers up to the ear of God. I felt like all the ashes in my heart were snuffing out my sense of purpose, people I needed to forgive, and the dreams I thought I should chase. When I let the Holy Spirit swirl through all those ashes, I saw Him pulling them all up into the throne room of God. I felt like He'd cleaned out all that old dead stuff and relit my flame of joy.
I wrote about allowing His Spirit to swirl through me in Chapter 6 instead of giving into the pirates of martyrdom, anger, and unforgiveness:
Are you willing to let go and let God take it from here?
Hold your hands up to Him. Open your palms and blow your worries, fears, and pain away. Toss God the blackened pieces of wooden unforgiveness.
Watch Him catch it all.
Watch a slow smile spread across His features.
Hear Him say, “I can take it from here. It is in my power. It is in my plan. I love you.”
Did you know?
God is smiling on you!
You're invited to the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life official book launch party
May 7th 11am-2pm, Garden of Read'n, Missoula, MT.
About the book:
In Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-Filled Life you'll embark on a treasure hunt for God's unique gems of wisdom. Be empowered, learn to influence through your own life lessons, and preserve important relationships. Gems of Wisdom invites the reader on a treasure hunt to find important life concepts represented by the beautiful stones God created. Excellent for Bible study and book clubs as well as individual study.
About the author:
Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009, a multi-award winning inspirational speaker and the author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life from Journey Press, the Creative Cooking Series including the new release of Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance and the new Kindle release, Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela also teaches online classes and coaches one-on-one in courageous confidence, personal growth, and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and life coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, MT. She volunteered as the American Christian Fiction Writer's publicity officer for two years. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom's brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. Angela is married with a combined family of six grown children and two grand children. Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life releases May 2011 from Journey Press, a Sheaf House imprint.
Angela Breidenbach, Speaker/Author