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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meet Lisa Love Harris-tireless junker and author of an intriguing Flea Market Mystery series!

We are delighted to feature Lisa Love Harris as our guest blogger for Petticoats on the Prairie today!  Lisa is one of the most genuine ladies we have been fortunate enough to meet in our journey, and we are honored to have her with us today! 

Hey,Y’all! THANK YOU to the the ladies at POTP for inviting me to post here. I’m Lisa Love Harris— gypsy spirit, vintage journalist, tireless junker, owner of Garden Cat Vintage, and author of First Monday Murder A Jimmie Rae Flea Market Mystery. Hey! Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute…an author?  
Yes. I write a Flea Market Mystery series starring a sassy independent Texas woman who moonlights as an antique dealer with an obsession for junk and cat-killing curiosity that lands her into heaps of trouble. I am often asked how in the world did that happen…how do ya mess with JUNK and WRITE a Flea Market Mystery series for cryin’ out loud?
Well, it’s not easy, but I've owned my antiques business for the past 17 years and have written professionally for more years than I care to admit to. And let me tell y’all, it hasn't exactly been the glamorous life I dreamed of many (okay, many, many) years ago as a journalism student. However, the road to writing and publishing a Flea Market Mystery series has been a serendipitous life journey that began with a passion for junkin’ and a 2003 breast cancer diagnosis.
You see, ten years ago on the verge of turning 40, I was blessed with the realization that life is short and I'd better get on with all those goals, dreams, and travels I'd been putting off. What was I waiting for? With a professional background in public relations and journalism what I really wanted to do was write fiction.  I believe cancer gave me the kick in the tush I needed to take the risk and realize my dream. 
A long time ago in a place far away I sat in Professor Jack Bickham’s Novel Writing class and tried to follow along. “Write what you know,” he said repeatedly.  Back then my life lessons were few. It took some valuable life experiences and a whole lot of junkin’ to fill in the gaps. 
While we lived in McKinney, TX  I discovered you could find incredible Victorian treasures right next to the Tupperware and Thigh Masters. An 1845 prayer book for a buck? Are ya kiddin’ me? A bag of tatted lace for fifty cents? Really? Yes, I’ve always been thrifty thanks to my Daddy who grew up on an Oklahoma cotton farm during the Great Depression, but even more than that was (and continues to be) the untold stories each of these wonderful pieces of history tells or at least conjures up in my vast imagination.

My protagonist, Jimmie Rae Murphy, was conceived and born as I recuperated from the umpteenth surgery.  At first she was shy and venerable -- and yeah, plenty boring.  I began to write and study and rewrite. Before I knew it, Jimmie Rae emerged as a strong, independent, boot-wearin', keester-kickin', God fearin' Texas woman who wasn't going to take any garbage from anyone. 

In the process of creating Jimmie Rae and plotting First Monday Murder I made a personal journey and discovered my seventh generation Texas roots run deep. 
I discovered a complete fascination with wearing cowboy boots, embroidered jeans, and sassy t-shirts. I fell in love with old time Texas swing bands like Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and Asleep at the Wheel. I listened more intently to my grandparents' stories of how they grew up in southeast Texas and managed to make a life together for more than 60 years despite all the obstacles in their journey together.

Back then music filled our Victorian house as I wrote and revised and wrote some more. Not the music of my pre-cancer life, but the raw, deep tones of Texas musicians like Lightnin' Hopkins, Leadbelly, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Steve
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Miller, Miranda Lambert, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and Susan Tedeschi. 
I created characters based loosely on the many people I met along the way.  I created an antique mall called Blessings From the Past in what was once an old church building. I even created an entire town, Niceton (Nice Town) based on a combination of several Texas towns. I wrote, and revised, and wrote some more. Write what you know,”  Professor Bickham’s words echoed in my head. 
“What did I know?”
Texas. Being a strong woman. Junkin’.

Somehow these ingredients began forming a plot…take an idea and begin creating it in words. Sprinkle liberally with imagination. Add a gorgeous Texas sunset, a salty honky-tonk, Texas music, lots of Lone Star attitude, and lots of JUNK. Add a cowboy or two…or three.Toss in a beloved location, a little romance, and a story begins to emerge. A novel is written.
From Pintrest pinned by
A job related move to Washington state five years ago, led me to meet my fabulous critique partner who suggested I combine my passions for both writing and junkin’.  In between getting my final First Monday Murder revisions together I began to set up my Garden Cat Vintage goods at vintage markets in the Pacific Northwest. It was at Funky Junk Sisters Junk Salvation in Hillsboro, OR that I met the ladies and first learned about the fabulous Petticoats on the Prairie— The Premiere Vintage Market in West Texas.
There’s been no looking back.  In the past three years, I’ve started a blog, published First Monday Murder, participated as a vendor in more than 16 vintage markets from Seattle, WA to Colorado City, TX, and moved our family back to Texas all the while meeting as many other creative folks as possible and writing the next Jimmie Rae Flea Market Mystery VINTAGE MURDER due out next spring. 
Yeah, it’s been a little busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Life is short. My bucket list is long. And there are so many wonderful people, new roads, and great things to discover along this life journey.
From the git-go my Flea Market Mystery series was inspired by the junkers, bohemians, crafters, dreamers, rebels, artists, vendors, road-trippers, gypsies, and pickers who keep our junkin’ community full of style, creativity, originality, and fun.
As I race toward turning 50 in a few weeks, I look forward to meeting more new friends, writing more stories, buying and selling more antiques, and traveling down that always exciting blacktop road of life.
I'll always remember not what cancer took from me, but what it gave me.  I'm very thankful and abundantly blessed.
Until next time,
Peace, love, and all
the good stuff to ya,
sweet friends!

Lisa is a member of Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies, HoTX SinC, Romance Writers of America, Brazos Writers,and Writers' League of TX. Her book First Monday Murder is available on Smashwords and Amazon. She’s on Goodreads as Lisa Love Harris, Twitter as @txgardencat and Facebook as The Garden Cat. She lives with her 1981 prom date and husband of 30 years, their two almost-grown kids, a slightly spoiled, but sweet dog, and spunky old cat.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Brunch at the Baker tickets now on sale!

Just a little over a month till show time!! We are so excited about the incredible vendors we have on hand for this show, some of the BEST in Texas!! And also thrilled to have Fancy Smith as our very special guest. Fancy is the owner of Cactus Creek Mercantile in Weston, Missouri and has also been featured in Cowboys & Indians Magazine. We are certain everyone will enjoy meeting her and learning about her adventures! Tickets for our early-bird shopping event are now on sale! The perfect chance to learn more about Fancy, she will be speaking about her TV appearance on the show "Picked Off". The Brunch is going to be catered by Sweetie's Cakery and Kaci is an incredible promises to be yummy! The Brunch portion of the morning will held in the courtyard behind the historic Baker Hotel in downtown Colorado City! After the Brunch, the party will move back down to the Fairgrounds for 2 hours of early-shopping before the doors open to the public. Tickets are $30.00 and can be purchased in advance by emailing us at Come and join us!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lucky Star Art Camp with Lisa Field-our first guest blogger!!

We are thrilled to introduce Lisa Field to our readers, she is the founder and visionary behind Lucky Star Art Camp, in beautiful Hunt, Texas!  The Camp will take place at a magical, real-live girl's summer camp called Waldemar, on the banks of the Guadalupe River.  The retreat is coming up October 9-13th and could very well be the boost your creative soul needs!  Lisa has also teamed up with Bernadette Noll, author of  "Slow Family Living" for a HUGE giveaway!   One lucky woman will win free tuition for Lucky Star Art Camp. They will also win a copy of Bernadette Noll’s book “Slow Family Living”.  Bernadette will also be the featured speaker the first night of the camp!  The giveaway ends September 2nd at 11:59 p.m and you can find out how to enter on Lisa's blog,  Lucky Star Blog


I am so glad for the opportunity to get to post here and share my dream-coming-true with all of you. Lucky Star is an event that is a lifetime in the making and in just over a month, I will be standing in front of a room full of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed women who are just as excited as I am to be in that room. It will take just as much work for them to get there, as it will take me to make it all happen. But when we come together, magic will unfold. I’m sure of it.

Lucky Star is a four night, five day women’s art and whole living retreat set in the hill country of Texas. Women will travel from all over the country to take in the beauty of their surroundings, take classes, make new friends, listen and share, eat good food, laugh ’til they cry, sing around the camp fire, gaze at the stars, and just be in the moment.

Don’t let the name mislead you. You do not have to be an “artist” by the standard definition to come to Lucky Star. We believe there is “art” in the every day details of life and therefore we celebrate the everyday “artists” who can be found in the kitchen making a lovely meal for their family, in the garden planting a row of peas, in the wee hours of the night sewing a Halloween costume, or in a cubicle using a rainbow of colorful file folders and sticky notes to do anything to brighten the day. Just the act of braiding your hair can be deemed a work of “art” by our definition. Creative people can’t help but be creative. You know who you are. Lucky Star is a candy store for the creative soul. Lucky Star is for YOU!

A trumpet sound will start the day, signaling it’s time to find your class and starting creating, making, learning, listening. There will be the sweet smell of Sycamore and Cypress leaves on the breeze as they just begin to succumb to the changing of the season. Birds chirping and the sound of cool, clear running water will be interrupted often by outbursts of laughter coming from the hillside. An occasional cry of “CANNON BALL” will be followed by a big splash and the ripples on the water will make landfall again and again and again like they so hypnotically do. The combination of anticipation and excitement will fill the air with electricity, yet the peacefulness of the natural surroundings will remind us to slow down, take a deep breath, and just be in the moment. Embers will spark and glow into the night sky and we will circle, enchanted by the warmth of the fire and the sounds of music. Our heads will rest on strange pillows, reminding us as we drift off to sleep that we are not at home because we are on an adventure! This is all taking place this October 9-13th and it will be as I’ve described, but you have to be there to see for yourself.

To sign up for Lucky Star Art Camp as a Sleepaway Camper or Day Camper, visit our website today at  Registration closes on September 30th.

Lisa Field