Tailor ShopI drove to the Bentonville library today (about an hour away) to take a copy of “Out of Harm’s Way” to the president of the historical society. I spent some time with her a few years ago doing research, and since a lot of the action in the book takes place in and around Bentonville, I thought maybe she could help me find a market for the book. You see, Bentonville is not only the home of Wal-Mart (drove right past Walton’s 5 & 10), it was also home to John Howdeshell, one of Hiram’s many sons. John was a tailor and also a Justice of the Peace there back in the 1860s. As far as we know, he never fought in the war, but in the book, he has a serious run-in with bushwhackers! The picture came off the web but fit. It just needs to say Howdeshell on the window. Continue reading

Iron Rose

I went to the Heritage Festival Saturday in downtown Siloam Springs. I had visions of selling a couple of books dancing around in my head as I wandered among the various vendor booths and talked to people. Whenever I mentioned my book and that the story took place in this area, most gave me a look that clearly communicated, “I’m here to sell, not buy”.

I went outside and came to a group of men dressed in casual Civil War clothing. One was whittling some interesting pieces of wood and another was working iron over an open fire. I spied a small hand-worked iron rose in a display case. I really wanted that rose! There was no price tag so I offered to trade him a book for his rose. I was telling Steve and his wife about the book and come to find out, they live in Bloomfield right where most of the story takes place!!! Continue reading


Today I went to pick up my professionally-printed bookmarks at Siloam Springs Printing in downtown Siloam Springs. The proprietor, Rick Walkingstick, gave me the best price in town (that’s including Wal-Mart) and even more than I asked for in services. I was happy with the quality and the fact that he cut them for me, which I was expecting to have to do myself. The first few books that I sold included a sloppy home-made version and probably cost me more than the professional ones. I was so impressed that I have given him the job of printing some business/personal cards for me as well.

DSCN0253I am planning to attend an event in Twin Springs Park on July 11, called Beyond the Frame. Local artists of every description are encouraged to come and participate and, if you’re lucky, maybe sell a thing or two. I got out my card table to practice and stocked it with Howdeshell mementos (well, actually a couple of things came from my husband’s ancestors in Tennessee, but hey, they’re old). There’s a rusty bucket full of holes from sure-nuff Howdeshell land and a machinery part from the Stevens (Howdeshell descendent) farm in Oklahoma. And, we have some Civil War bullets that probably aren’t from Arkansas, but they look the part. Real show-stoppers! Selling books is never easy. Wish all of you could come. I’ll be sure and let you know how it goes.

Book Arrival

The books came today! There had been a little concern over the cover color, but they look great and I couldn’t be more pleased. For those of you who have already ordered one, a book will be in the mail to you tomorrow (Friday). I apologize ahead of time for the few errors you will undoubtedly come across. I don’t care how many dozens of times I reread my manuscripts, a few always seem to escape my attention. Hopefully, they won’t get in the way of you enjoying Out of Harm’s Way.

I don’t plan on writing any more books about the Howdeshells so I’m not sure what I’ll post on in the future unless some new information comes to light, but maybe there will be something. And, now, I’m going to go pour myself a glass of wine and celebrate a satisfying conclusion to a very challenging endeavor!

Book Launch

As you can see, I’ve given my blog an updated new look for the launching of “Out of Harm’s Way“. Our issues with PayPal are resolved and if you plan to download a book file, you can do that now and please let me know if there are any problems. I should receive the paperback books by early next week. I don’t anticipate any more delays, so if you would like to go ahead and order a book, I can hopefully get one in the mail to you by the middle of the week. I will make one more post when the books are here and ready to mail if you would rather wait. Thank you for your patience and loyal following.

Also, I have added two new pages to my blog. One is called Parker/Howdeshell Family History which tells a little about the families; the other is My Adoption Story, which tells how it was growing up as an adopted child and how I came to be reunited with my birth family.


The book “Out of Harm’s Way” is finally finished and at the printer’s. It’s taken me five years to complete this project. I was concerned in the beginning that the story would be so dark and depressing that I wouldn’t enjoy writing it and certainly no one would enjoy reading it, but as I forged ahead, I was reminded that life goes on whether the times are easy or hard. I had the challenge of juggling six different true love stories during those turbulent years as well as depicting the immense suffering and degradation of war as it either did or might have affected the Howdeshells here. I came to really love this family even though most of the everyday details of their lives were a figment of my imagination. I hope it will be an exciting and fun read for you, full of interesting detail that you might not have been aware of concerning the war in this part of the country.

The store is not set up yet because of some trouble with PayPal which they acknowledge is their fault, so you cannot order a book just yet. Hopefully, we can get it resolved by the time the books arrive from the printer in about a week. At least you can get a glimpse of what’s to come. I’m offering an additional option this time for those readers who might like a digital download of the book instead of purchasing a paperback. The digital download is $6.00 and the paperback is $16.00 (includes shipping). Many thanks to those who have continued to ask about the book, keeping me inspired all the way to the finish line. A word of thanks also to those who have signed up on this blog in recent months even though they can see that I haven’t posted anything in over two years.

I want to say a very special thank you to my son, John Lasater IV, without whom this work would never have made it this far. He not only designed the cover but also formatted the book, sometimes working in programs he was unfamiliar with. His knowledge of the digital world astounds me. Of course, I’m easily astounded, but I think he’s the greatest. He’s an accomplished artist as well and I encourage you to check out his website at: I’ll post again as soon as “Out of Harm’s Way” is ready for purchase.