Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Welcome Guest: Caroline Clemmons

Give a big howdy to Caroline Clemmons -- another brave participant of my crazy Wednesday questions!

Tell me five things I probably don’t know about you and that most folks wouldn’t guess.

1, My youngest daughter, Bea, and I used to have an antiques business with three booths split between a couple of antique malls. We loved going to estate sales and auctions but were not that great at the business end. For one thing, we didn't have the cash to make really important purchases. For another, we love antiques ourselves and took the best things home. LOL We attended one sale where a policeman appeared to close down the sale because the seller hadn't obtained the required permit. Bea and I had just purchased a beautiful (to us) oriental folding screen and were afraid the policeman would make us return it to the seller. We picked it up and hoofed it at a trot to my car a block away. Getting this large screen into the car was another feat. The screen is now in my dining room because I just couldn't part with it (you see the problem with our business!). Bea and I laugh every time we think about how we must have looked scurrying to the car carrying that heavy screen on our shoulders.

2. I have written numerous articles for historical journals and local history books. I love family genealogy and history and have been collecting family trivia and anecdotes since I was a child. I wrote and published a book about my mother-in-law because she wanted one done for her grandchildren. All her nieces and nephews wanted a copy, so we had a second printing done. Of course, then I had to do a book for my mom to be fair. For my mom, I included all her family and it was a bit longer. My brother and I are compiling a more difficult book for our father's family. I don't like those genealogy books with just endless lists of descendants. Boring! I prefer lots of photos, family anecdotes, and migration tales to make the book more interesting. After all, in addition to preserving facts for posterity, we want people to actually enjoy reading the book.

3. We've moved a lot. The first thing I do when I move is join a church and a lot of community groups to become acquainted. When we lived in Florida, I seemed to be publicity person for all the groups and took in so many articles with captioned photos that the newspaper editor asked me if I'd like a job working for the newspaper writing the same sort of articles. They'd been trying to increase subscriptions in the area in which I lived, but without success. I told her I had children with health problems and wouldn't like to leave them alone on the days they couldn't attend school. She said I could work from home if I came in occasionally and Even then I could leave at three. The pay wasn't much, but I loved the job. Soon, people were calling me with story ideas and I spent most of my time writing human interest stories about people in the community. The newspaper's subscriptions doubled, and the editor and publisher credited my stories with the increase. As was our way, though, my family soon moved back to Texas and I left my newspaper job.

4. When I was President of my daughter Stephanie's high school PTA, parents were concerned about a gas station on the corner by the school grounds because the new owner changed the station's name to "Six Pack Express." The place was a teen hangout, and we figured they were selling alcohol and cigarettes to minors. The Council of PTA's held a meeting in which I was the shill who recommended a change in the way distance was measured from school to business which would prevent the gas station from selling alcohol. Because of that, the City Council President and I received bomb threats. I was so surprised at mine that I laughed at the caller and told him something like get a life, probably not a good idea. The measure passed without bombs going off and I have a nice little certificate from the Secretary of State for my work.

5. Remember I said we'd moved a lot. When we built our first dream house, I designed it. I spent weeks with graph paper and drew out all the interior features with precise measurements. My father had built houses when I was a child, but he'd passed away by this time. My mom gave me a couple of suggestions on lining up plumbing between stories, but I did the plans. When we had selected our builder and the lakeside lot, the developer (which is an interesting, but scary story) insisted we have the plans drawn up by an architect. We took my plans to the architect the developer suggested (which probably means the developer received a cut of the cost). The architect made one change in my plans and took out a door between the kitchen and family room. We asked the builder to put the door back in. The builder told me my drawings made the built ins much easier and that my plans would have been enough and he didn't need the architect's plans--so that was money wasted except the developer wouldn't have approved our building otherwise. We loved that house, but we have itchy feet and moved away. Now, however, we have settled into our final (maybe) dream house.

Fill In the Blank(s): The next person to ring my doorbell had better ____________.

A delivery from I am never totally out of books, but am waiting for the next Julie Garwood, Amanda Quick, and Rhys Bowen. My husband and I are fast readers, which is good and bad. We are always rummaging around for something to read. I trade books with friends, shop Amazon, reread old favorites, and---yes, I'm confessing in spite of no royalties paid---shop used book stores and garage sales. I love discovering a prolific new author so I have a long list of books to which I can look forward.

Write me a paragraph using the following three words: Tough, Pig, Cellar

Let me tell you one of the tales about my father and his six brothers--if the thought of seven boys doesn't make you shudder too much. My grandfather was tight with his money of necessity, but that's hard to explain to a bunch of rowdy boys. A carnival came to the town near them and they wanted badly to go, but my grandfather wouldn't give them any money. They had a tough decision. They just had to go to the carnival but where could they get some cash? They took one of my grandfather's pigs down into the cellar and covered the pig with bootblack. Then they took the pig to my grandfather and told him that two of the older boys had received the pig for doing some work for a neighbor and were looking to sell the animal. My grandfather bought the pig and off the boys went to the carnival. When the polish soon began wearing off of the pig, my grandfather realized he'd bought his own animal. I asked my dad if he wasn't worried about getting in trouble. He said they knew they'd get a whipping, but by that time they'd already been to the carnival and had a good time and the whipping was worth it. Thank goodness my husband and I have two lovely daughters instead of seven (shudder) rowdy boys.

(The story is true except for the cellar part. I have no idea where they polished the pig. LOL)


Caroline Clemmons is a city girl turned country girl. All her life she has made up adventures. After reluctantly giving up her desire to ride the range with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, she turned to making up detective stories a la Nancy Drew. An eighth grade journalism teacher encouraged her to write down her stories and guided her in the process. Caroline spent her early childhood in Southern California, but then moved back to West Texas where her parents eventually settled in Lubbock. Her books include western historical and contemporary romance. Caroline and her Hero Husband live in rural North Central Texas with their menagerie of pets that includes a Shih Tzu and three cats. When not writing, Caroline loves spending time with family, reading, travel, browsing antique stores, and researching family history.

Caroline's June 2010 release, OUT OF THE BLUE from , is a time travel in which a clairvoyant healer from 1845 Ireland is blamed for her remote area's failed potato crop. To escape the mob determined to burn her as they have her home, she leaps off an Irish cliff into the Atlantic--but she lands in a present day Texas lake beside a police detective's bass boat. He's recovering from wounds sustained when his partner and best friend was killed in a so-called drive by shooting. He's determined to find the killers, and he's convinced this mysterious woman knows more than she'll admit.

Check out Caroline's website at and her blog at for news of her other upcoming releases: a sensual western historical, THE TEXAN'S IRISH BRIDE, and the sweet contemporary, TEXAS FIREWORKS. She also posts occasionally on


Marianne Arkins said...

Caroline, I enjoyed your post when I scheduled it, and I just enjoyed it all over again! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Marianne, Thank you so much for having me as your guest. My June release OUT OF THE BLUE is out now.