Ready to Read

Ready to Read
Historical Novels -Bobi Andrews

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


HETTY'S SONG, The Death of the Skylark has now joined my two previously published books -- The Sotweed Smuggler and Dear Mama, Love Sarah -- in print.

Now it's your choice. Either e-book Kindle or soft cover Print.

See reviews posted on Amazon.


Saturday, October 25, 2014


The Gulf Coast (Houston) has precious few really blue days. Summer 
is so humid,  the  clouds heavy and the blues paled, but when the humidity 
drops and the temps sit nicely in the 70's and 80's, we enjoy some of the 
bluest skies you'll ever see.  

We know not to expect the multi-red and orange colored leaves 
of New England, frosty Colorado mountain peaks rising in the distance, 
or rushing water gurgling over round river rocks. As the season 
develops, seldom do we have snowflakes larger than the barest of 
imagination, and the thinnest skin of ice sends motorists
skidding and school children home. Anemic snowmen are few 
and far between. 

But we do have marvelous weeds.  Lady Bird Johnson would
cringe at this description, but in our yards we sometimes forget
that some of these  nature-provided wonders are bonafide wild 

For my memory-challenged Alz husband Bob to press 
in a remembrance book, we gathered nine different yard flowers:  
flame-red hammili, deep pink knock-out roses, multicolored 
yellow, orange, pink and blue "squirrel-planted" lantana, 
rosy-red impatiens, a tiny yellow (no name) flower dodging the mower, 
lavender wandering jew, rustic red shrimp plant, iridescent purple
bougainvillea, and blue white-mouth dayflowers. A large yellow and 
purple globe droops from the banana trees, and a strange yellow 
elongated bloom hides within the large cut leaves of the 
philodendron plant shadowing the pond. New this year are 
entire fields of goldenrod along the neighboring road to the highway.

So I have a pretty picture for you.  Imagine the cloud-free blue, 
blue sky, a field of golden goldenrod and a smattering of the 
blue dayflower, the latter a small orchid shaped bloom the color 
of the sky.   Tallow tree leaf disks are the closest to turn to autumn 
colors and float midst the leaves and seed pods that have fallen 
from the mimosa tree into the koi pond providing a playground 
for skirtering and swishing orange koi gasping for air and playing 
peek-a-boo under the leaves.  Blue dragonflies, sometimes coupled
into twos,  dip and flutter between the overgrown arrow root 
water plants. Across the fence, a pecan or two thump to the 
ground arousing two scurrying squirrels under the watch of a
mockingbird and scolded by a blue jay.   

Now add a soft lounge pillow, a generous application of 
mosquito repellant, a good book, and a glass of chardonnay --  

Saturday, July 26, 2014


REVIEWERS have found HETTY'S SONG, The Death of the Skylark
to be a captivating heart-felt story of a young girl making the journey
from despair to triumph.



"Hetty's Song, The Death of a Skylark, is set in the
late Victorian era when women's options were limited,
particularly Hetty's because her family's religious
background was very male dominated. Hetty's desire
to sing dominates the story line. She escapes her
stringent background & makes her way to the big city
& fame. Along the way she has many challenges.
The story line runs full circle & she is a survivor.
From start to finish, I couldn't put the book down."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

PILGER, NEBRASKA, Small Town, Big Memories

The town of Pilger, a small village near Humbug Creek, in
Stanton County was largely destroyed on the afternoon of
June 16, 2014.  However, the memories of Pilger and of my family
roots can never be destroyed by a tornado.  Growing up in
Nebraska, tornados were a rather common threat, but often
limited to small, open farm areas.  But wind storms came each
summer. As a child, I remember the heaviness of a searing,
hot afternoon, the dead ominous silence while leadened storm
clouds formed and turned black,and the hurried escape to the
outside cave before the circling wind tore down trees in our
cottonwood grove.  On one occasion in the late 1940's, the
neighboring town of Winside was hit especially hard and I
remember seeing bathtubs in the field and stalks of corn penetrating
clear through telephone poles. 

Pilger is special to me.  It is where my grandfather and
great grandfather are buried. It is where on Decoration Day
(yes, that's what we used to call Memorial Day), my extended
family drove from Wayne and gathered in the Pilger
Cemetery placing on their graves large red peonies and multicolored
bearded irises, which we worried would bloom in time
for the occasion.  While older folks placed their memorials
and remembered, my cousins and I roamed the graveyard,
tangling sky-blue buffalo beans into long strings of necklaces. 

My great grandfather, Cephas Ellis, farmed near Humbug
Creek, but loved best fishing in the Missouri River.  It was
here, he, a converted Quaker, carried on his own lay ministry
and earned the affectionate title, Father  Ellis.  It was here
Gr Grandma baked those so-good cookies and believed that
God intervened and saved her husband from a broken ice floe
in the Missouri River when bringing their son's family from Iowa
to Nebraska during an especially frigid January.

Grandpa Charlie Ellis owned a livery barn, a gathering place
for boasting,  carrying on local gossip, and hearing the latest
news.  Now, you have to understand, Charlie (I was old enough
to remember him) was a special Charlie--a bronco rider, and
teller of great stories when the Indians inhabited the great prairies. 
He wouldn't have been Grandpa if he didn't fish at Two-Bit
lake and crank home-made ice cream.  He made for my sister and
me a special fishing pole from a broomstick, eye screws,
and an old reel to use during our annual fishing trips to
Park Rapids and Bemidji Minnesota lakes.  There was something
special about this fishing pole--it attracted bullheads better than
my brother's store-bought pole. Grandpa with loving patience
and with copper twisted above his forearm to take  the pain from
rheumatism, cared for my grandmother through years of debilitating
illness.  He was a man of good humor and extraordinary kindness.

Over the years, there have been many coincidences where I have
been reminded of my Nebraska roots.  In the 1960's my husband
and I moved cross country to Delaware.  As it turned out, our new
next door neighbors were from Stanton, Nebraska. Although I'd found
extensive Quaker records of Ellis's, during my early genealogy research
I was at a brick wall needing to discover the identity of my great
grandfather.  My brother returning home to Broken Bow happened to
stop by the Pilger cemetery where he found Cephas Ellis RIP waiting
to be discovered.   

My brother, celebrating his 84th birthday this year, has lived most of
his adult life in Broken Bow. My  Nebraska nieces and nephews frequent
Facebook and generously share their families and activities. The Pilger
Centennial Book published in 1987 has been a genealogist's dream.
The church organist in Sugar Land Methodist is from the same area in
Nebraska. And wherever Nebraskans congregate, the by-gone feats
of Saint Tom Osborn and the return of good fortune for the Big Red
Nebraska football team is to be forever hoped for.

My thoughts, prayers, and best wishes for the victims of the Pilger tornado
are in my heart.  God Bless!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


A number of individuals finding on Amazon my historical novel,  Dear
Mama, Love Sarah, tell me of their new-found awareness of the
profound effect the Revolutionary War had on families, such as the
family of Reuben Simpson.  The focus of the story is Sarah Sherrill
who found herself in the untenable position of her Sherrill family
entrenched and staunch Patriots and her husband, Reuben Simpson,
a loyal Tory. The story culminates when Reuben leads a regiment of
Loyalists against the Patriots in the Battle of Ramsour's Mill.
Disowned by her father, her children lose all contact with their
grandmother, and Sarah, sadly loses her  mother with whom she
enjoyed a very close relationship.  It is an emotional and heart-felt
story of tragedy, danger, retaliation, and renewal.

In writing historical fiction, I recant historical events and
circumstances of remarkable people, not necessarily aiming to
mirror any particular happening in today's world. 
However, with Dear Mama, Love Sarah, I have become
acutely aware that the story is not just recollecting and interpreting
history, but understanding that families are being divided by war
and politics every day, and have been since before and after
the Revolutionary War.  Of course, the Civil War was rife with
stories of brother shooting brother, with its accompanying hatred
reaching down challenging reconciliation to each succeeding
generation including our own.

Today, families in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq --numerous African
countries -- are forced to fight or flee their countries leaving members
of their families split in both distance and  philosophy and facing
constant danger.  As parents become elderly, adult children often try
to keep in touch and provide the necessary support for their safety and
well-being.  We may find this difficult even if the separating 
distance is but a few miles.  What if you were here in America
and your parents were across the world in one of the war torn areas.
If parents, how would you keep your family together and raise your
children in a refugee camp?  How would you handle the anger and
disillusionment of kin who chose to support the "other side" of a
controversy?  Would you, like Sarah, dream at night that your kin
was shooting the members of your family in the heat of battle? 
What if  this conflict was under one roof splitting your family
and years went by with no resolution?

When family separation hits home, it is shattering.  I have a writer
friend who has faced the Syrian crises with her parents and other
close family members.  In Syria, her kin experienced their homes
destroyed, children separated and sent out of  the country to
safety, and elderly parents displaced and forced to move a
number of times--daily conflicts even to the point of losing a
parent to illness without being with them in their final hours.
Loss of family is not just a word, it is a monumental tragedy!

The one unifying belief among diversified cultures is the reverence
and  importance of family ties.  We do not get here by ourselves nor
do we live  in isolation of others.  Sarah with her letters kept hope
alive that she and her children would again be in the company
of her Mama.     

A pause . . . a prayer . . . a gesture of understanding.
Peace comes within the hearts of each individual.  Families of
the past and families of the present deserve no less. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


You can imagine my pleasure in opening an e-mail
and finding the message,  "I've just finished reading
Dear Mama, Love Sarah, and I so loved being caught up in the story that
I wanted to write you straight away."  Melody Di Piazza goes on to say
she is kin to Reuben and Sarah, and like for me, Sarah is our fourth
generation Great Grandmother. 

One of the pleasures of writing from family histories is that you run into

kin you otherwise would never know about.  After all, at the level of 4x

grandparents the number is 32 to share with some kin.  We all have scads of


Melody goes on to say, "I was overwhelmed to stumble across your book. 

It was absolutely delightful the way you took this couple out of the dank

of history and breathed such a robust life into them."

Melody and I have wondered about the same thing were it us living in those

difficult times.  She states it very well:  "Through these years of research

I had often wondered about Reuben and his Loyalist sympathies.  We

Americans  so readily wave the flag, and truly most of my own ancestors

were Patriots.  However, I've always wondered what I would have done

and thought during those Revolutionary times.   Would I have betrayed

my King and "God given" system of government I had been brought up

to love and respect?  It is a complicated question and one I do not think

we can honesty answer today. "

Most family researchers are delighted to find  "stories" of their ancestors. 

We are just as likely to draw conclusions and judge harshly some who have
been considered "black sheep."  I like Melody's point of view:

"One thing I learned decades ago in this business of family researching

is not to judge my ancestors.   They were who they were in the times and

places they lived.  We cannot ask them to live by our mores.  I must

compliment you on your writing as I found myself engrossed in the Loyalist

cause.  You did a splendid job of building Reuben's case while setting

Sarah's misery against it.  What a heart rending time it must have been

for the entire family. Thank you for writing a lovely tale of what might

have been."

To Melody, my heart-felt thanks for your comments and insight.     

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Amazing, Really Amazing

Feedback from readers is always a thrill, but can you beat the
following?  I don't think so! 

Bernice found out about Dear Mama, Love Sarah from my sister,
Rose, who lives in Bettendorf, Iowa.  Bernice is not just an ordinary
 reader--she is 98 years old and loves a good story.  

Seems Bernice has a younger sister (age 96) who lives in a
San Diego nursing home. This sister is very alert but has poor eyesight.
The sisters call each other frequently, and as we might do, they inquire
 about what each is doing.  On a recent occasion,  Bernice replied
that she was reading a really good book written by a friend's sister and
illustrated by her friend.

Not to be bested,  the San Diego sister told her daughter about the
book, to which the daughter bought Dear Mama, Love Sarah for
her coming visit on Mother's Day.  As a surprise, she will read the
book to her mom so the  two sisters can "talk" about it. 

Bernice is ecstatic that they had this "special phone call" and is looking
to share the book over the phone.  Says she can't wait for my next
book to come out and is ready to read Dear Mama again!

What could be more inspiring in our golden, golden years than to
be able to find a good book to share and enjoy.  

PS.  Dear Mama, Love Sarah is set during the revolutionary war
and I don't think for a moment that either sister could be fooled as to
the times and customs of the period since they grew up with the stories
their grandparents told.  Bernice had a new one I hadn't heard of.
Back then, they would butcher a hog and fry pork chops for storing--
immersing the chops in a lard crock pot for storage in the cellar. 
Hmmm. Sarah's Cukes and Bernice's Pork Chops--pretty nifty
wouldn't you say?    

Thursday, April 3, 2014


You never know how lucky you are until something unexpected
happens that changes every minute of every day.  Four months ago,
my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and three weeks later,
Cancer.   A double whammy for a guy who already was battling
debilitating medical conditions for those growing into their golden years.

Needless to say, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has had us as their
revolving door "guest" for many tests, and last month, surgery and skin
grafts.  His radiation for the remaining cancer that was not removed
during surgery begins in a week--every day for six weeks.  Then the
same thing over again for additional cancer suspected of sneakily
lodging elsewhere.

When family members become ill, we soon learn it requires full
concentration on a 24/7 basis. No writing.  No blogging.  Few
social meetings. A lot of worry.   I didn't know what it was all
about for friends who had undergone similar challenges until I,
myself, am walking in their footsteps.

Friends and family have been great and the outpouring of prayer
has been appreciated! I hope to find moments to reconnect with
my blog, facebook, book clubs, and contacts in my family history
and writer's world. The George YMCA exercise gang boosts my
spirits and my Sugar Land Methodist church has been there with
food and prayers. The Missouri City Methodist Alzheimer's support
group has been right on!

At the end of the day, I am comforted knowing that this, too, will pass.