Friday, June 23, 2017

Best Birthday Gift Ever

 In The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon Gemcie determines to ride solo on the John Muir Trail in an attempt to sort out the confusion in her life.  While trying to capture the ethereal beauty of the John Muir Wilderness, I hoped to capture the imaginations of those who have not been privileged to ride or hike in the fragile beauty of the high country.

Here is what John Muir said on (June 23 which coincidently is my birth date) in his first My Summer in Sierra’s in 1869

“Oh these vast calm measureless mountains days, inciting at once to work and rest!
Days in whose light everything seems equally divine opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, no matter how weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.

With this thought in mind I can only feel gratitude that I was able to ride amongst the spires that inspired his musings that touched my soul so deeply. For my birthday, I am heading to Colorado to hike and ride in the Rockies. Should be splendid with tons of wildflower and bluebird skies. Grateful for all the good that has been put on my plate!






I have a host of travel articles on my site, along with information about my travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, and my historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’I, as well as my latest novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.
 Subscribe to my blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.





Thursday, June 15, 2017

Making Tracks in the Rocky Mountains

Reading Lady in the Rockies by Isabella Bird has aroused my wanderlust to a fever pitch. I booked a room at Estes Park the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park in June.  The wildflowers should be thick in the meadows and views of snowcapped Long’s Peak sublime. I’m in for a little soul-cleansing while doing research for my next writing effort. I have long been impressed with the stamina and sheer determination of this English woman who rode in the winter of 1873 in the Rockies solo. I want to hike and ride in her hoof prints.


From there I venture north to the Laramie River Ranch on the border of Wyoming and Colorado to ride the open range. 
It is remote, rustic and hopefully a real dose of the old west. That is what I am looking for after reading about the thirty mile a day rides Ms. Bird galloped through with ease. She and Birdie, a sturdy Indian pony, cantered over 800 miles through vast pristine wilderness on tracks buried in snow.


 I may get a little sore on this outing, but what the heck. If Izzy can do it in the dead of winter, surly I can ride in the Rockies while the sun is shining high in a blue bird sky.



Come to my site for a host of travel articles along with information about my travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.  Subscribe to my blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on my books, and travel destinations.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

What was so Great about Kamehameha I?

Aside from being a supreme athlete, a master of martial arts, and a merman, Kamehameha fulfilled a centuries-old prophecy. On the night he was born, a fiery rooster tail streaked across the heavens marking the birth of the warrior destined to unite the Hawaiian Islands where persistent tribal wars marred a peaceful existence. No conversation about sacred sites in Hawai’i is complete without explaining why this warrior/chief was so great.
Kamehameha’s birthplace, Akahi aina Hanou, (near Mo’okini Heiau) is on a lonely knoll overlooking the sea in Kohala. It is thought that Halley’s Comet passed by the night of Kamehameha’s birth in 1758 marking him the chosen leader. Priests advised the ruling chief to destroy the child who threatened his seat of power. His mother, fearing for her son’s life, had him spirited away to Waipio Valley where he lived in gentle isolation for the first five years of his life. Tutored by a loving mentor, he learned the genealogical chants of his ancestors and began his life journey as the “Lonely One.”



At pubescence he returned to the village of his mother and was accepted by the now aged chief. He excelled in all sports, dance, and martial arts, proving himself to be an outstanding warrior. The old chief prided in Kamehameha and when he died he appointed him the Keeper of Ku—the war god.




Prophecy held that the warrior able to lift the 7,000-pound Naha Stone would become the chief whose cloud would rest over all the Islands. Kamehameha “lifted” the Naha Stone when he was 16 years old. (The Naha Stone is located in front of the Hilo Library, 300 Waianuenue Avenue.) This was the second omen to re-enforce his hard path.
It was Kamehameha’s unshakable belief in his destiny to be the ruler to unite the Hawaiian Islands that pulled him forward. You cannot understand Hawai’i or the significance of the sacred sites scattered throughout the realm without knowledge of this great leader who—through the force of his will, the strength of his intellect and unequaled physical prowess—brought a “Golden Age” to his people.

In a series of posts and videos about sacred sites in the Hawaiian Islands I expand upon the various temples he had built and the strategic battles that were fought during his rise to power. His words to his people when he passed to the other side in 1819: “Know the great good I have given to you.”

The character Makaha in my historical novel Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai'i is inspired by this brave warrior.




Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares Great Outdoor days in L.A, as well as a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.  

Her quest today is to get to as many beautiful places as she can before they are gone. Subscribe to her blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.





Join me at Mystic Journey Bookstore onJune 18th

Mystic Journey Bookstore 
1624 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice California


Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.  Subscribe to my blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Star on Top Senior Blogs for 2017

Star on the Senior Adventure Travel Blogs for 2017





My adventure travel column on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women has been selected again as one of the Top Blogger sites in 2017.  My personal blog LindaBallouTalkingtoYou is also recognized on that list.

I would love for you to subscribe to my blog. It is an ecclectic mix of travel adventures, insights into Hawaiian history and mythology, and pieces about Cowgirls who jump over Moon!!

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.  


 Subscribe to her blogwww.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Video clips shed light on #Ancient Hawai'i

As an adventure travel writer I love to travel and spend time writing about my explorations.  I also love sharing Wai-nani, A Voice from OldHawai’i with book clubs so I have created 
brief video clips answering the most common questions I receive from readers about my book.

In the story I weave myth, legend, and actual historical incidents that raises the question in the minds of readers “What is True?”   In this clip I address this very important question.
Is the story historically accurate? http://youtu.be/wI4BONZhbjY
Each of the thirteen clips I created answer specific questions about the Hawaiian culture. For instance, the death of Captain James Cook at the hands of the Islanders has long been a controversial topic in Hawaiian history, so I presented my position on the matter.
Did the Hawaiians stab Captain Cook in the back? http://youtu.be/_S0kD-RtcK8
Here is my response to the question “Did Hawaiians have “Love Games?”
http://youtu.be/rmUxhOyKJzA
 It is my hope that sharing in this way readers will not only come away with a better understanding of the ancient Hawaiian culture, but that they it will give readers a more personal connection with me.  People love videos because reading huge amounts of written content becomes over-whelming. I hope people will find my videos about Wai-nani, entertaining and informative and will share them with friends!

Linda Ballou Author


I have a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about my travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, and my historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’I, as well as her latest novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.
 Subscribe to my blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.




Sunday, May 21, 2017

Earthiest's Creed

In the words of Edward Abbey…I am not an atheist, I am an Earthiest!

Earthiests are people who literally need to plug into the planet to recharge. Whether sitting on a rock warmed by the sun,
or face planted down on the sand at the beach, standing on a mountain top arms spread with palms up to gather energy, or resting against a tree, I am gathering energy from the earth.


 Some people think nothing is happening when they are sitting still because their minds are too busy to feel anything. But, they are receiving nature’s gift just the same.  An earthiest consciously makes themselves more receptive to the bounty by quieting their minds and will not miss an opportunity to plug into the universal gas pump! 
 Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.  


 Subscribe to her blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Real Deal Dude Ranch

Remote, rustic and real were the qualities I was looking for in a dude ranch in Colorado.  The Laramie River Ranch, a small spread sitting on the banks of cooling river in the middle of vast plains backed by snow-capped mountains, looks perfect. Situated near the Wyoming border, the ranch shares the wide open spaces of it's neighbor.
Owners Krista and Bill have small children so family values are a hallmark of the ranch. There are lots of activities for kids so adults can ride out for the day without a care.


Since publishing my book TheCowgirl Jumped Over the Moon,
I have become immersed in the horse world once again.  Twenty years ago I owned my own mare and we galloped over hill and dale until the sun slipped behind ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains surrounding our barn. I loved those days and cherish all the adventures I had with my best girlfriend. Becoming re-acquainted with the horse world through the works of other authors has made me want to get back in the saddle.
I am so looking forward to my stay at the Laramie River Ranch where horseback riding is the specialty. I don’t need high end amenities, I need to re-connect with nature riding on the back of a good horse in gorgeous country.  Yeehaw!!

Full report when I return.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sitting Chilly on a Ride to Justice

Flamingo Road (Fia Mckee Mysteries #1)Flamingo Road by Sasscer Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like all of Lynda Sasscer Hill’s stories Flamingo Road is set in the dark underbelly of the horse-racing world. I stopped going to the track when I saw a horse break its leg in half from the stress of being run too hard before bones were formed. Sickened by the sight of the animal being put down in front of me, I determined never to return even though I love the pageantry and beauty of fine specimens in their prime. But, we learn it is not always what it seems as Lynda shares the inside dope, [no pun intended] on what goes on behind the scenes in the racing world. Her plotting is fast-paced filled with many head-spinning sucker punches that keep the reader riveted. Protagonist, Fia Mckee, is an under cover agent who exercises thoroughbreds by day and seduces gangsters by night. Both endeavors are worrisome. In between she is trying to work things out with her estranged brother and his horse crazy teenage daughter. They are both trying to deal with the desertion of their mother and the murder of their father. Sasscer Hill ties the story together in a pretty bow in the end that makes you feel satisfied, and yearning for more, which I’m certain is in the offing.


View all my reviews

Since publishing The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon, I have been having fun reviewing other equine authors. This is one of the best so far.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon in the Ribbons


It was quite a leap of faith for me to publish this story.  Writing it was part of my own healing process when I had to give up riding due to an injury. I am so pleased that The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon is a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards.  For it to receive this recognition is quite on honor.
Cowgirl has garnered numerous 5-Star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads from horse lovers, and general readers alike. I am marketing it under the genre “New Adult”, but the story can fall under “Women’s Fiction”, or even “Western Romance.” Here are some of my favorite comments from readers
**Horses. Romance. Adventure - who could need anything more from a book?

** I could smell the leather and sweat, feel the wind buffeting the flags at the shows, hear the whispers of the trees when Gemcie was out in the trail.

** Her writing is so descriptive that you feel you are in the saddle and experiencing everything Gemcie does. The words describing the amazing mountains makes you able to feel the wind and smell the rain.

While writing The Grand Prix jumping scenes in Cowgirl I kept a vision of Susan Hutchison in my mind. She is an incredible rider whose slogan is “No Guts-No Glory.” I saw her riding Samsung Woodstock in the 90’s when they were on their way to World Cup. She kindly agreed to an interview that appeared in the California Riding Magazine. The timing was auspicious because she was inducted into the Jumper Hall of Fame in 2016.


I especially enjoyed my conversation with Diann Adamson Can WeTalk”  that appeared in her newsletter Le Cour di l’ Artiste.

The Response to my storyand interview with Le Romantique, a site hosted by a Canadian teen, was important to me because I wanted to know if my book held appeal for the younger audience.


Cowgirl went Down Under in an interview with Christine Meunier, author of the Free Rein Series


A fantastic write-up and endorsement for my book appeared on Equine Addiction in Sept. 2016


Gina McKnight of Riding and Writing Fame spotlighted me on her blog early on.

I am grateful for all the enthusiastic support that The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon is receiving and can't wait to get back in the saddle myself for more riding adventures. Cheers, Linda

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-www.LindaBallouAuthor.com.  

 Subscribe to her blog www.LindaBallouTalkingtoyou.com and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.