January 22, 2012

Cynthia D'Alba's Arkansas-A Rare Diamond Indeed

Hi y’all! I’m Cynthia D’Alba, a born and bred Arkansas Romance Writer here to tell you about my beloved Arkansas, home of President Bill Clinton, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, and the only diamond mine in North America (among just a few of our interesting attractions!) Our official state slogan is “The Natural State” but what I usually call Arkansas is “The Best Secret in America” because most people are surprised at all there is to see and do when they visit.  There is no way to really tell about Arkansas in one post but I’m going to do my darnedest. Be sure to check out the links here for all info about my work and Arkansas and read on to find out how you can win a copy of my debut book.
I’ll start with my hometown.  Hot Springs has a “colorful” past is like saying  the Mafia is comprised of misunderstood businessmen. From the 1800’s to about 1930, my little town was a hotbed of gambling, prostitution, crime, crooked lawmen, illegal bootlegging, wild nightclubs and gangsters such as Al Capone, Bugs Moran and Lucky Luciano. Hot Springs became their home-away-from-home. 
Today Hot Springs is home to places like Lake Hamilton and Lake Ouachita(pronounced Wash-a-ta), the healing waters of  hot springs, endless hiking trails, mountain vistas and Hot Springs National Park.
Hot Springs National Park is located adjacent to the city of Hot Springs but its hard to discern where one ends and the other starts. Hot Springs National Park is the smallest national park in the U.S. officially made a national park on March 4, 1921. The mountains and walking trails are worth the visit. The history of the springs is intriguing and makes for some interesting reading.
Beyond doubt, one of the coolest facts about Arkansas is the Crater of Diamonds State Park.  The park is open to the public. Pay a fee and hunt for the diamond of your dreams. Be warned…raw diamonds don’t look like the ones in Tiffany’s.
One of the newest attractions in Arkansas is the Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art, founded by Alice Walton of the Walmart dynasty. Crystal Bridges opened in the fall of 2011 to much national and international acclaim. Thanks to a million-dollar grant, this incredible museum is free to visit. Plan your trip ahead--because of overwhelming response, reservations are required.
Be sure to take time to visit Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs.   A recent retreat with my local RWA Chapter, Diamond State Romance Authors,  was held there among rescued lions, tigers and other unique wildlife.
 Our writers’ group was so touched and impressed by Turpentine that an anthology to help raise money is in the planning for 2012. For more information on this, watch my blog http://cynthiadalba.wordpress.com/ 
I can’t leave the Eureka Springs area without a quick mention of the most haunted hotel in America. If ghost hunting is your thing, check into The Crescent Hotel-- a hotel with lots of history makes it a destination for everyone.

C’mon down and we’ll sure show you some real southern hospitality that Arkansas is also famous for.

Visit my website for information on me and my writing career including my novel, Texas Two Step, releasing February 28th, this year, by Samhain Publishing.  You'll find all the links to pick up your copy at my site as well as the publishers so please do stop by. 
I'm also on Facebook and follow me on Twitter plus, sign up for my newsletter using the links here or go to my site. 

Would you like to read a copy of Texas Two Step? I’m giving away one advance reader copy (digital format only) to one commenter who will read the book and post an online review before February 28, 2012. Interested? Here’s how to win… (aka Rules and Regs)
  • Leave a comment telling me if you’ve ever been to Arkansas and what you did and saw while you were there
  • Tell me you want to win Texas Two Step
  • Tell me WHERE you’ll be reviewing Texas Two Step
  • You MUST leave an email address so I can contact you if you win.
  • Giveaway open to national and international commenters provided you have a way to read a digital book AND a place to post online
  • Giveaway ends January 28, 2012…a winner will be chosen from comments posted by midnight 01/28/12 http://store.samhainpublishing.com/texas-step-p-6662.html

Thanks for being with me and, as a reminder, my new novel, Texas Two Step is available for pre-order through the links here! 


  1. Wow, this is a great opportunity. I have been waiting and waiting for Texas Two Step. Anywoos, I have been to Arkansas once when I was a child and what I remember about it was it was green, the mountains big and it rained. We were on a family trip to Indiana back in 1977 and I remember saying to my parents that those mountains were bigger than the mountains in Oklahoma. Now my husband fishes up there all the time. :)

    I would post the review at the following: Samhain site, Good Reads, B&N and Amazon (when available) and my site: http://harliebooks.blogspot.com


  2. Arkansas sounds like a fun state! I don't think I've done much there besides pass through.

  3. Cyndi,
    I've never been to Arkansas, but from your post, I predict there's a visit to this interesting and beautiful state in my future!

    It was my privilege to read Texas Two Step in its early stages, and I've already pre-ordered a copy, so don't enter me in the drawing. For anyone who buys this book, you're in for a real treat!

  4. Oh, wow, what a wonderful blog and idea to blog about where you live! Great idea, Annette, and Ms. Cyndi, we talked about that haunted anthology. DQing myself from the ARC, because I have pre-ordered Texas Two Step. So now I want to know, with all the great things you say about Arkansas? How come you didn't call it... Arkansas Two Step I'm excited for your release; hope you are too!

  5. Hey Cyndi! Many congrats on the release of your debut novel. I've been to Arkansas many times. Have friends who lived in Clinton. They have since moved to Texas bit of was fun to visit them. I actually got to fly a plane there since my friend owned a small one. That was super.

    Thanks for the pronunciation guide. Never knew how to say that! Lord knows I was totally wrong. Lol.

  6. Thanks Harlie for saying you want to read my book! Good luck. If you don't win here, I've got a blog tour in February and giving it away on 4 stops.

  7. Hi Cyndi!!
    Congrats on your upcoming release of TEXAS TWO STEP. It's going to be well received and sell tons! I'm so proud of my fellow Arkansan! Mwah! Hugs and kisses!

  8. Hi Cindi,
    Hot Springs sounds like a great town, with an especially Vegas-ish history. Wow!
    Best of luck with your book release next month. I can't wait to read a copy.

  9. Hi Cynthia and thanks for a different view of Arkansas, a place I've never even passed through. Diamonds, haunted hotels, hot springs and a wild-life sanctuary, sounds varied and fun. Good luck with your new book.

  10. I've never been to Arkansas, but your post has made me want to visit! Sounds like a great place to do and see fun things. Also love the cover of your book!

  11. I have never spent any time in Arkansas. Sounds like I should remedy that. I would love to review your book if you wnat. I review for Single Title or Sensual reads depending on what type of book it is.
    edbby236 at gmail dot com

  12. Hi Kristin. Thanks for coming by. You can just ask Lara Santiago how lovely the state is! But on second thought, she's visiting in-laws and that can influence one's perspective! :) Seriously I hear she has the perfect MIL!

    But come over anytime. We'll go boating

  13. Hi Leigh. Thanks for the nice words about Texas Two Step. There's a reason you're in the dedication! Nobody should have to read a book as much as you did TTS!

    And I'll be dragging you to Arkansas one of these days. You always show me such hospitality. I owe you.

  14. Hi Donnell. Arkansas Two Step! Ha! Doesn't have the same ring. But in book 2 of this series, my couple does spend the day in Hot Springs. The short overnight stay has consequences neither expected!

    Thank you for pre-ordering TTS! I owe ya.

  15. Hi Jillian. Clinton is in a lovely part of the state. The roads in that area are curvy, aren't they? Hard on those of us who get motion sickness. :)

    Ouachita is an Indian word. Can't remember what it means off the top of my head. I remember hearing a report on the Memphis News where "Ouachita" county was in the story. The newswoman pronounced it as "O-Wa-Cheeta" So when I need to spell it, that's how I pronounce it. :)

    Thanks for all your support. I really appreciate it.

  16. Hi Myla! Another Arkansas gal. :) You can confirm my report, can't you? And you live in one of the most beautiful corners of Arkansas...and one of the fastest growing. :)

    Thanks for coming by

  17. Hi Brenda. You are so right about Hot Springs' "Vegasish" history. If casino gambling hadn't been outlawed in 1964 (or near that date), I suspect HS might be the "Vegas of the South"

    There are some fascinating books that document the history of Hot Springs. Personally, I think it has the potential for being a great location for a historical in that 1920 time period!

    Thanks for coming by and the nice personal email.

  18. Hi Fran. I'll be honest with you...I barely scraped the surface on Arkansas. I call it the best kept secret in America!

    C'mon down. We'll show you some southern hospitality and make you want to never leave. :)

  19. Hi Heidiwriter! Of course you should come visit Arkansas! We have a wonderful group of romance writers who love visitors!

    And my book cover...what can I say? I went totally nuts when I saw it. Is it not the most awesome, sexy cover? I know I'm prejudice, but holy moly, I just love it! It was designed by the very talented Scott Carpenter.

    Thanks for coming by. I hope you enjoy Texas Two Step story as much as the cover. :)

  20. Hi Debby! Texas Two Step is a sexy read but not erotic romance. But Olivia and Mitch have some mighty fine sex! :)

    And yes! You should come to Arkansas. There's so much to do...more than many people think. I so want to dig for diamonds...something I've never done. But if my luck at digging diamonds is the same as gambling, I'll go home empty handed. :)

    Thanks for coming by.

  21. Cynthia--now, why are you writing romances about Texas when you live in Arkansas? I'm your neighbor over here iin the Lone Star State, and we know the middle and the northern parts of Ark. pretty well. For one thing, we travel across the state from Texarkana to West Memphis twice a year to get to MI where our grandkids are.
    Also, we just love the NW corner of Ark, and oh, yes, Hot Springs is a wonderful place. Truly, the state does have hidden treasures.
    We stopped one year in Little Rock to tour the Clinton Museum. Quite impressive!
    Here's my email address:
    celiayeary AT Yahoo DOT com

  22. Hi, girlfriend, You did a great job highlighting your state. And many congratulations on your book. You deserve it!

  23. Hi Cyndi! Hot Springs sounds awesome! I hope we can visit one day. I can't wait for TTS to come out! Eagerly waiting to read it. Best of luck to you :)

  24. Howdy ;)
    The first time I went to Arkansa was for an album release party at the Rev room in little rock! Rocking music, and we danced the night away! To be honest, I have never done a book review before. But, I would love to give it a try on Texas two step because I'm a huge fan of western romance and I love reading new books from new authors I haven't heard of before! I guess you can say I like trying new things? If I won this contest, and I were to write a review. I would probably write the Texas two step review in my barn and i would let all if my rodeo friends and ranch hands know about the book! Im waiting patiently for Texas two step, and I cant wait!

  25. I just visited Bentonville and the new Crystal Bridges museum. I fell in love with the landscape driving up there from Dallas and plan to come back once the trees are in bloom!

    I'm an equal opportunity reader who loves discovering new-to-me authors and genres. If I won, I'd post the review on my blog and twitter.

  26. Thank you all for visiting. Arkansas is a wonderful state and a great place to visit and to live. I hope those who have not been there will come to visit.

    I used Random.org to pick a winner. Random.org picked comment #1

    Congrats to Harlie Reader. I'll be in touch with you.

    For the rest of you..please follow my Texas Two Step Blog Tour starting Feb. 1 There will opportunities to win ARCs of Texas Two Step as well as many other fabulous prizes.

    My tour listing is here: http://cynthiadalba.com/blog-tour

    My tour prize listing is here

    I hope to see some of you as I move around the internet.

  27. Hunting for diamonds sounds like fun.



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