Friday, July 17, 2020
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Dear Big Picture High School Students,
As promised, here is a sneak peak of Chapter One of The Knock Over, a Moonshine Murder Sequel. I'm uploading this as an example of the process of writing: its many drafts, stages and faces. This is an early version, intended to demonstrate that.
Pete. He has a thing for explosions, dynamite and such. It’s a bit of an obsession for him, you could say. I’m telling you this so’s you understand that should we not come to an agreement, the underboss is coming in the month. We would hate to see something happen to that girl of Dominick’s.”
And who the heck was Peter Dalla? It was meant as a threat from Victor, no doubt, but he didn’t know what it meant. Which made it all the more menacing.
The back door opened and the bank president, came in whistling and hitching up his britches over his large belly.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
This gift is particularly special because it belonged to Martha Haldeman, the woman portrayed as Lenora on the cover of Moonshine Murder.
A writer herself, Martha wrote eloquently not only in English but also in Old German script, an extinct language. This woman, who I never met, has shared not just her image but her imagination and love of words, a trait she passed down to her daughter, Ruth--my grandma--and to me. I am thankful to Grandma for sharing.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I have many wonderful memories with that truck, most with my best friend, Erin Taveira Glenn by my side. We took that truck places in the mountains we probably shouldn't have. We lost a muffler and about washed the entire vehicle crossing what looked like a stream. Looking back on the experience now, I think it was more like a river!
I repaired and repaired again the Nissan, making is last for over half of my life as my first choice of transportation. It has traveled with me from Southern Colorado to Northern Colorado, across Central California, and back to Colorado. I've strapped dogs, friends (more than the legal capacity), and car seats in the cab. I have push started that truck more times than I could possibly remember, including an entire semester when my husband, Eric and I were too broke to fix the alternator. (If you are going to CSU, I can gladly share with you where to park on campus with enough slope to push start a vehicle.)
This last winter, we again dumped money into the Nissan, Eric scratching his head at how stubborn his wife can be in refusing to get a reliable vehicle. How could I part with something that has been with me over 16 years? We made a deal: The truck had to last for a full year to justify the most recent repairs. We shook on it.
It lasted three months. Right into the coldest part of the winter. With mixed emotions, we drove to the car lot and purchased my first vehicle since turning sixteen. And I love it. I love that it has air conditioning and heating. I love that it starts when I turn the ignition, and that I don't have to push it. It doesn't whine and cough in the cold. It is completely reliable. I feel safe loading up the kids, and safe on the slickest of roads. It doesn't have the odor of wet dog mixed with who-knows-what-kind of air fresheners and cleaning agents. No scars or dents.
But I found that early in the morning when I jumped into the new vehicle, I missed the smell of old vinyl and dust, and the curiosity if today I would be pushing the thing down the hill, or flooding the engine to get it going. Strange a person can miss those tasks.
What did I do with the Nissan? Well, I sold it on Ebay. And it was hard to let it go. But sitting in my driveway was doing neither of us any good. And it couldn't have gone to anyone better. A kid's dad bought it. It was just like the one he had owned, and he wanted to fix it up for his son. He loves it, and for that I'm glad.
It was a sweet ride, taking me through the adventures of adolescents and into adulthood. And the new vehicle? Well, my seven-year-old son, Ethan has dubbed it his sweet ride. We'll see.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
We had a packed agenda, starting at 9am in Silverton, Colorado. Each student was given an agenda with questions to answer throughout the day.
Our first stop of the day was the Old Hundred Gold Mine tour where we rode in ore carts deep into the same mine the main character, Lenora explored in the novel.
We then panned for gold before heading to the base of the mine--where the old mill was located--to enjoy a sack lunch.
This is a view of the Old Hundred boarding house located 2,000 feet above the mill and main mine entrance.
The next stop on the tour was the Grand Imperial Hotel located downtown Silverton. The photograph above is a view of a hidden tunnel leading from the Grand Imperial Hotel to Blaire Street, several blocks east. Men would walk through the tunnel to Blaire Street where brothels were legal. It was also used as a place to smuggle moonshine during Prohibition. We were very lucky to see this tunnel. They don't give tours and they don't advertise that it exists. We all smiled very nicely to receive this honor!
After our private tour to the hidden tunnel, the group made their way over the mountains back to Durango where we met at the swinging bridge. Yes, the same swinging bridge mentioned in the novel. Here the students answered their questions and received their awards.
The last stop of the day was at the mural of Jack Dempsey boxing at the Gem Theatre. Alexx, pictured here, chose boxing as her research topic, and was extra excited to see this amazing painting.
The Moonshine Murder Field Trip was a wonderful experience. This group was amazing and what fantastic homeschool parents, Gayle Early and Melissa Hackett, for going above and beyond in educating these young students. I hope to lead many more trips in the future, so parents, teachers, and grandparents, plan your trip soon!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
First of all, thank you, Erin, for inviting me to be on your awesome blog!
Thank you, Leslee, for stopping by. What are you currently reading?
I just finished Jeannette Walls’, Half Broke Horses, a true life novel. Told in the first-person voice of Ms. Walls’ no-nonsense, resourceful, and compelling grandmother Lily Smith who survived Texas tornadoes, droughts, floods and the Great Depression. A great read!
What/who has influenced your writing?
The Rocky Mtn. Fiction Writers and Colorado Romance Writers were the first groups that provided conferences and critique. In earlier years, I was influenced by authors of short fiction/novellas such as Somerset Maugham, Ernest Hemingway, western writers Jessamyn West and Annie Dillard. Later, romance authors LaVyrle Spencer, Laura Kinsale and Maggie Osborne mesmerized me.
What do you do beside write?
I have a passion for western music and support events like the annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering (some poetry, lots of music). The Arvada Old Town Pickin’ Parlor hosts a monthly concert with a continuous list of outstanding western, blue grass and dixieland singers and musicians that I find irresistible.
Do places you visit pop up in your writing? How so?
During leisure time away from the computer, I enjoy scouting for book settings with my husband in the Colorado Rockies. Some memorable research sites are Leadville, Georgetown, the Colorado Sand Dunes, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And, yes, several of these historical settings have led to storylines, characters and published novels.
Here is a little bit about Leslee and her new release.
Leslee Breene, award-winning author of novel and short fiction, takes pride in being a Denver native. She lives beneath the Colorado Rockies with her husband and, hopefully soon, a beloved rescue canine.
Her newest release, JOURNEY TO SAND CASTLE (June 2013), is a contemporary inspirational romance set in the San Luis Valley next to the Sangre de Cristo mountains. "Leslee Breene confronts conflict, resistance, and prejudice...in a well-written story of love and redemption." ~ Heidi M.Thomas, WILLA Literary Award.
To read the first chapters go to: http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Sand-Castle-Leslee-Breene/dp/1484958977/ref.
Journey to Sand Castle Synopsis:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tess Cameron, a divorced teacher, becomes the unwitting guardian of a bi-racial orphan. She is compelled to take the little girl to the Colorado San Luis Valley to meet her grandfather. Estranged from the child’s missing mother, he is unaware of the granddaughter’s existence and doesn’t want her.
Grant Wilder, a widowed outfitter, offers Tess temporary employment on his ranch. This gives Tess a reason to stay in the area and continue with her reuniting efforts. But can Tess’s wandering spirit find the faith to accept permanent responsibility of the child? Can she open her heart to love again in this land of amazing beauty and haunting secrets?
Other works by Leslee:
STARLIGHT RESCUE, (2011- Treble Heart Books) a western romance, is available in soft cover through www.lesleebreene.com, and is set beneath the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains on an animal rescue ranch. It received an RWA PASIC Book of Your Heart Award in the contemporary, single-title category.
HEARTS ON THE WIND (2008 - Five Star), a Denver bestselling historical romance received an “A” review in the Rocky Mountain News. LEADVILLE LADY (2006 - Five Star) received the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers PEN Award. The RWA Valley Forge Chapter awarded second place to her debut novel, FOXFIRE .
Ms. Breene’s short fiction has been published in various magazines, won national awards, and finaled in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 Women Writing the West LAURA (Ingalls Wilder) competitions. http://womenwritingthewest.org/laurajournal.html.
Ms. Breene attended the University of Denver, received a Denver Fashion Group Scholarship, and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City. For several years, she worked as a newspaper fashion illustrator in San Francisco.
She is an active member of RWA, Colorado Romance Writers, and Women Writing the West and is available for Denver/suburban area library and group speaking engagements. She welcomes visitors at her website: www.lesleebreene.com and www.facebook.com.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Eunice Boeve! Congratulations. Ok, here are her definitions:
2. Coffin Varnish
5. Flat Tire
8. Dumb Dora
1. smuggled or illicitly distilled liquor
2. inferior liquor
3. the best moonshine also known as catdaddy. also a girl's boyfriend, especially if rich
4. Crazy was used to tell a person to leave, you're screwy
5. a bore
6. a bar tha tsells illigal liquor
7. a guy on probationary status, or a new guy
8. a foolish, scatterbrained, or stupid woman
10. a dumpy old car and old heap
11. one who fights or acts with force a firey girl also lesser name for a panda
Eunice has won a free signed copy of Moonshine Murder! Thank you to all the participants. Visit my website for your own signed copy.