Crazy4Fiction BookBash and Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY & Crazy4Fiction Book Bash stop #2!

Welcome to Oklahoma!

During this week’s Crazy4Fiction Summer Book Bash, I am taking a virtual visit to see sisters Kathryn and Melissa Baile from my historical fiction novel If It Rains. Reading offered an escape for Melissa and Kathryn, especially during the toughest years of the Dust Bowl. In particular, their mother’s tattered copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz allowed them to lose themselves, not only in the world of munchkins, winged monkeys, and magic slippers, but also to a time before drought, depression, and death became regular features in their landscape.

Although the Dust Bowl limited the Bailes to poverty, I know Kathryn and Melissa would have loved to host a lovely book bash with their friends if times were different. And I know you’d enjoy spending time with my heroines and getting to talk books with them. Since they can’t join us in-person, I’ve come up with some ways you could have a little book bash of your own, inspired by my book-loving heroines Melissa and Kathryn. 

Here’s a quick peek around Kansas where Kathryn and Melissa lived on the family farm before the Dust Bowl arrived and began to upend life as they had always known it. 

This is an example of a standard dugout, much like the one the Bailes lived in. With few trees to be harvested for lumber, settlers instead made shelters by digging them partially into the side of the hill. Although dark and often infested with insects, dugouts remained cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and protected year-round from the prairie’s relentless wind. Photo courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society
The Baile’s farm was located just outside Boise City, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1908 by a trio of swindlers who promised prospective lot buyers a well-developed town with rivers, paved streets, trees, and modern amenities. Instead, when settlers arrived, they found one building in the middle of a windswept prairie. Rather than cut their losses, however, most settlers remained and turned Boise City into a respectable city and, soon, the county seat of Cimarron County. Photo courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society
James Baile, Kathryn and Melissa’s father, was a tenant farmer. When settlers arrived in Oklahoma, they saw the miles of undeveloped grassland as a potential goldmine. Soon, thousands of acres of ground were plowed up for wheat. Money rolled in, just as the farmers suspected it would…until the rains stopped and the winds arrived. Photo courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society

Melissa and Kathryn’s Summer Book Bash:

Prior to the Dust Bowl, the prairies of Oklahoma were lush and teaming with life. On a summer day before everything changed, Melissa and Kathryn could spend hours outside reading under the shade of a tall tree–one of few on the prairie–as a gentle wind drifted through (after their work on the farm was done, of course.) So finish your chores, invite your book group over (or cozy into a quiet afternoon on your own), and enjoy a book bash Melissa and Kathryn-style.

Theme: ‘There’s No Place Like Home’

Setting: Reading in the barn hayloft was always particularly cozy, but there’s nothing quite like the big oak tree in the far corner of the pasture, especially when a summer breeze comes through.

Food/drinks: Farm fresh is the way to go! Before drought paralyzed most homesteaders, farmers prided themselves on being mostly self-sufficient. What they couldn’t produce themselves, they traded for with neighbors. Melissa and Kathryn would have enjoyed fresh milk, cheese, and cream (perhaps served on homemade bread or as a dip for plump summer strawberries). Eggs were also plentiful and could be served poached or deviled (a Great Depression favorite!) The wheat harvest allowed for plenty of baking, including Kathryn’s favorite, cocoa cake (when sugar and cocoa could be found) or Melissa’s special strawberry rhubarb pie. Newly invented Kool-Aid was also a special treat.

Music: Melissa and Kathryn were partial to cheerful music from the late 1920’s and early 1930’s to remind them of happy times before the drought. Songs such as “Sunny Days” or “Smiling Skies” would have been particular favorites. Click here for a fun time period playlist!

Book Bash Giveaway!

To help you celebrate, Crazy4Fiction is giving away an ‘If It Rains’ prize pack that includes a signed copy of the book, a sand and succulent terrarium, a ‘Wizard of Oz’ bookmark, and a Crazy4Fiction tote bag! Giveaway is open from July 25 through July 31. Click on the photo below to enter!

And don’t forget to check out Crazy4Fiction’s site to be entered to win the grand prize, including a signed copy of each participating author’s latest book, a Kindle e-reader, and a Crazy4Fiction tote bag! The grand prize giveaway opens on July 29, at the end of the Book Bash tour.

In the meantime, be sure to check out all the stops along the way for unique and fun giveaways on each author’s blog!

Next Crazy4Fiction Summer Book Bash Stop:

P.S. My new historical novel Come Down Somewhere is set in New Mexico and releases September 6! Preorder is now open for 20% off! 

One thought on “Crazy4Fiction BookBash and Giveaway!

  1. Pingback: Crazy4Fiction | Crazy4Fiction Summer Book Bash!

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