November 17, 2013

Travel the Roads of Nebraska where Authors Abound

We’ll start Near Highway 92 at Annette Snyder’s Place
The lure of the big city is present in Nebraska just like it is with any state and Annette Snyder has lived and worked in several of them.  Cities are great with their advantages of stores, entertainment and business built within reasonable distance. Still, Annette chooses to live in a rural neighborhood but there are days when she wakes up and says, “I have to get someplace with more people!”

The bustle of the city is always a lure but eventually, Annette comes back to her small town with its wide streets and neighbors who know when she’s home and when she’s not.  Each of her four kids live within an hour, her parents a few blocks, one aunt next door. A quick stop at the local post office to get the mail is anything but by the time she learns the latest about such-and-such’s vacation or report card. 

Everyone knows who’s who and what’s going on—except for the other day when she said hello to a neighbor from across town and she’d forgotten who Annette was.  In the neighbor’s defense, she’s a busy woman who looked as if she was running between places and she did a fine attempt at covering her slip-up.  Her hair looked nice for an eight am trip on a Sunday.  Contrary was Annette’s. She was on her way to her daughters new house to measure windows and believes she’d forgotten to comb her hair.  That’s the advantage of small town living.  Annette can occasionally forget to comb her hair without much backlash.  Run down the street for a couple of hamburger buns to the Husker Bar II unkempt and occasionally get a pass.  Go to one of the cities disheveled and Annette might get a few bucks from passersby just because she’s waiting for the light to change at the street corner…which may not be a bad idea.
As for her writing; Romance, Adventure, Historical, Contemporary is my way of entertaining.  She writes what she calls ‘Beach Reads.’ Not too long.  Not too short.  A satisfying read that doesn’t take two weeks to find whodunit.  There’s just not time in her life right now for an epic story all at once and, she finds, there’s others out there who read the same.  You can check out Annette Snyder’s work here:
And-the month of November, Annette's blogging here: 
The David City area is to the North West.  G. M. Barlean writes suspense with a Midwestern voice and creates characters the reader will feel could be anyone they know—a co-worker, an aunt, a neighbor...
Small rural town perspectives are something Barlean knows well. She was a farmer's daughter for the first twenty-one years of her life, and a farmer's wife for the next twenty-nine, and counting.
It often takes a curious mind and wild imagination to stay entertained in a one-stoplight town. Don’t be fooled. Interesting things can happen anywhere—especially in Barlean's books. All is good in the lives of Barlean and her family but not so much in her books. Not so much. Conflict is alive and well in the novels Barlean writes.
Although Gina’s education is in business, and many of career options have enlisted those skills, she's also gravitated to creative endeavors. Barlean is a self-taught photographer and ran a successful photography studio for many years. She managed an Opera House where she organized many musically themed events, and she worked with entrepreneurs as the director of her town's local Chamber of Commerce. She's attended culinary school, where she discovered opening arestaurant was not her life dream after all.
Barlean now enjoys mowing her large country yard, a little army sergeant of a Schnauzer, and a couple of shedding cats. She continues to enjoy cooking and entertaining her family and friends. Her husband tolerates all of her changing moods and adventures like the good soul he is. Barlean's children are grown and very busy with their own lives—Mamma is very proud.
Find Gina Barlean’s books, available multi-format, on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. Please visit her website for more information:
Here’s an amusing article about a unique small town six miles our country neighbor that shouldn’t be missed when traveling Butler County:
After stopping at Loma, continue over an incredibly hilly county road that Annette Snyder grew up calling ‘Rollercoaster Road,’ hook up to Highway 66, take a tour in Valparaiso and head southeast to Nebraska’s State Capital, Lincoln where you’ll find Toni Sweeney, one time Nebraska resident, who says that there are two sites of interest in Lincoln not to be
missed…the Capital building and Wyuka Cemetery.

The first capital building was built in 1867; the second in 1881. Both had structural problems so the Nebraska commissioned a New York architect, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, to construct the ‘Tower on the Plains,’ at a cost of ten years and 9.8 million dollars. Constructed with Indiana Limestone, the building stands 400 feet tall and 440 feet wide. State law prohibits any building from being taller. There are flags representing the various Sovereign Nations of the Native American Nebraska tribes. Nebraska is the only state which houses Sovereign Nations within its borders.

In 1869, the Nebraska legislature passed an act to provide the city a State Cemetery. Called Wyuka, it holds a vast number of personages, known and unknown, of all races and creeds, infamous and famous.  Among them are actor and singer Gordon McRae, the opening bars of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” inscribed on his headstone.  A black soldier who fought with the Union army during the War Between the States shares the grounds with an American soldier who died fighting the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. Built on the hillsides, mausoleums and crypts and a water tower, used at one time to irrigate the grounds, loom as imposing as ancient Norman castles.

View Toni Sweeny, one time Nebraska resident, and her work:
Mary Elizabeth Anderson, also of Lincoln, writes and asks, “Have any of you traveled to the Haymarket area in Lincoln and toured the Pinnacle Bank Arena?”  The whole persona of the Haymarket District has changed over the last years. The millions of dollars in renovations produced new construction of great restaurants, bars and hotels that won’t disappoint the visitor. 

If the music is your fancy, there’s a growing list of iconic entertainer’s scheduling performances in the revamped entertainment district including Cher, Bon Jovi and Elton John.  

While in the Haymarket, stop in the Indigo Book Store in the Creamery Building and check out this awesome establishment. Enjoy lunch andpick up two of my books: Link across America: a Story of the Historic Lincoln Highway, and Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero.
Visit Mary E. Anderson’s website for more information. 

James Buehler points out other fine places to see in his Lincoln as well- some wonderful places such as the University of Nebraska, Holmes Lake Park, the Lincoln Children's Zoo, the Lincoln Children's Museum, Antelope Park and Star City Shores.

Lincoln offers attractions for every person.  It has plenty of establishments for dining.  Trails for walking and biking intertwine throughout the city.  Shopping centers such as South Pointe Pavilions and Gateway Mall attract shoppers from all around the area.  Historical places and museums like the Nebraska History Museum, Museum of Natural History --home of Archie one of the world's largest mammoth skeletons and Mueller Planetarium and the National Museum of Roller Skating create fun places for visitors of every age and interest.  Recreational activities including golf and softball offer opportunities to the sporting enthusiast.
Lincoln is part of the "Good Life" in Nebraska making it a fine place for James and his wife, Jennifer, to bring up their three children.
James began writing The Swords of B'ajj: Truthseeker based on ideas he had as a young boy.  He would pretend that he owned a sword much like Truthseeker.  The sword had special abilities to let him know who was telling the truth and who wasn't, never let him die and allow him to have other weapons used to save the world time and again.  He decided to write his ideas down and thus began the journey to share The Swords of B'ajj: Truthseeker
Truthseeker is the first installment of a planned five book series.  In Truthseeker a young man named Bart Taylor chooses ownership of the sword.  Realizing the power of the sword, Bart is uncomfortably accepts his new duty.   His new adventure includes aliens from outer space, an evil overlord bent on destroying a solar system and a battle against some of the strangest beings in the universe.  Come join Bart and his friends on this adventure!
Visit Jim Buehler and see his work here: Amazon

Along with Lincoln where the city and rural join together and offer one of the greatest writing communities around., travel West on the map over the rural routes toward the country and central Nebraska with Lucy Adkins and Becky Breed  who, though they currently reside in Lincoln, grew up in those wonderful farming communities
For many in the state, growing up in rural areas as we did, Lincoln has been a light shining out over the prairie suggesting opportunity, and for some, an invitation to the writing life. Lucy Adkins grew up on a farm in central Nebraska, attended one room country schools, and when it was time for college, moved to Lincoln. As did Becky Breed, from Auburn in southeast Nebraska, where stars shine down like they are on fire!

Our new book, Writing in Community: Say Goodbye to Writer’s Block and Transform Your Life, is a writing companion forged from information from many years of working with writers and writers groups. It describes how writers can reach deep within themselves and write to their fullest potential—both by involvement in a group and by writing on your own. We also maintain a blog,, which provides weekly writing exercises as well as encouragement and inspiration for living the creative life. 

We encourage you to sign up for our blog.  From the first 15 new subscriptions, we will randomly select an individual to receive a free bag of popcorn and a copy of our book—in honor of our farming origins and the writing community. Just subscribe at the web address above and send us an email referencing the “Writing in Community” contest. 

Continue on to the Kearney area and Erin Pearson who concurs that autumn is not the only smell in the air-not in Nebraska. 

There is a common thread that runs through the majority of households binding us together as one large family in the view of the entire nation. That thread is the greatest sport on earth – Football.
To us, it’s normal to walk into any shopping center on a Saturday where instead of soft music there’s a screaming announcer and background noise of one of the largest college stadiums in the country. To us, it’s typical to plan family gatherings to include the viewing of the game. The best excuse to miss any other seemingly important event is to have tickets to the game and a tailgate to attend. If you’re planning a wedding, it had better be on a bye week or you can consider attendance to be quite a bit lower than on any other Saturday.
But, it’s not just the game that excites us. We have one of the best atmospheres around on Game Day. We are the most courteous fans and, indeed, we pride ourselves on the knowledge of the game and how “our boys” perform every week. We become an entity in and of itself in support of this history that has brought us up t  o respect others, cherish the good wins, learn from losses and play with dignity. We are The Sea of Red.  We are Husker Nation and we shout, “Go Big Red!” through it all.
We are a land of corn fields and combines, of industry and finance. We are in every person you could meet, from the international multi-millionaire to the farmer tending his crops. You’ll know us when you see us, as we will give a slight tip of the head with a smile on our faces. We offer a small wave as your car passes. We don’t ride horses to school and yes we have indoor plumbing. But our sign doesn’t lie; Nebraska is certainly The Good Life.
We know the value of a hard day’s work and the honesty in earning the bread on the table. We share in the sacrifice of living and in the end, we know to who we must thank for another day of life. When Saturday football comes around, that shared delight across the state anticipated each week, we take pleasure in the enjoyment.
Erin Pearson has a great blog and is an author having an incredibly romantic way of painting with words and is currently working on projects including children’s literature.  
A list of Nebraska Authors is available here:
Or the Nebraska Writers Guild

Author and Blog Creator, Annette Snyder, will draw a name from everyone who comments on this post by November 30th.  For a chance to win a Nebraska Prize and an autographed copy of one of Annette's Novels,comment by November 30th.   
( All Pictures provided by Authors,, Google Images


  1. I enjoyed that you showcased several authors from Nebraska.

  2. Thanks for the information about Nebraska. I've never visited the state nor have I visited surrounding states, but for some reason, I've always thought of Nebraska as a 'drive through' through to get to some other state...guess I'll have to change my mind about that. There's more there than meets this reader's eye!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  3. So many authors from one state. I am sure each state has many authors, but it's great learning about a few in one state all together. Each seems to have their own little niche in writing and love of their own little niche in the state.

  4. I lived in Nebraska for a little over a year. I think I loved the zoo best of all, but I did go to a rodeo, ride a horse and travel to all the states surrounding Nebraska. I made some great friends there. The weather, on the other hand, was a bit harsh--bitter cold in the winter and sweltering hot in the summer. I wonder how the first pioneers dealt with that. Anyhow, I had a great time there and have some terrific memories of Nebraska. A very lovely post.

  5. Kudos to you Annette and all your bloggers. A very clever way to show the many sides of Nebraska. Good luck to everyone, may your books thrive.

  6. Before we plan a visit I have to know: are there any state forests we can camp in? That's the most important question for me! I don't do motels. Otherwise, you sound similar in climate to the rest of the and cold, sometimes too much of both. But nice people can make even harsh weather bearable.
    Thanks for sharing other authors with us as well as your state info.

  7. Fiona--yes-there's a national forest near Thedford. A friend of mine goes there every year for his guy trip--camping with only a granola bar, a roll of TP and a sleeping bag. Also one up by Chadron...I think. Also many other state parks all over depending on your wants for camping. I personally love the Indian Cave State Park for the history, Mahoney for the views, Branched Oak for the water--and McConahay for water too...but there's so many places.


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