About Me

My photo
Texas, United States


Self Publishing With Confidence

Mystery writer Jill Paterson has published an excellent Self Publishing Pocket Guide to help those who want  to self publish their books rather than use a traditional publisher. It is written in a concise step by step format to help anyone with the entire process including formatting the manuscript.

This guide includes information on all aspects including deciding on a cover and book blurb to decisions on price, ISBN, and choice of categories. It also includes helpful web site links plus marketing and author platform ideas to enable you to start your self publishing journey with confidence.


Jill Paterson was born in Yorkshire, UK, and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia before spending 11 years in Ontario, Canada. After returning to Australia, she settled in Canberra.
After doing an arts degree at the Australian National University, she worked at the Australian National University's School of Law before spending the next 10 years with the Business Council of Australia and the University of NSW, ADFA Campus, in the School of Electrical Engineering.
Jill is the author of three published novels besides the Self Publishing Guide. They are The  Celtic Dagger, Murder At The Rocks and Once Upon A Lie. All are part of the Fitzjohn Mystery Series.  They can be found on Amazon.



Historic Fort Sam Houston

Fort Sam Houston originated in 1845 when the Post at San Antonio was established in the Alamo City.
After the Civil War, the Army began to move out of the city onto land donated by the City of San Antonio. In 1876, the construction of the Quadrangle began and the Quartermaster Depot moved into it in 1877. The garrison moved into tents west of the Quadrangle in 1879 and the Headquarters moved in 1881. The Post at San Antonio continued to expand with the addition of the Infantry Post in the 1880s. It was designated as Fort Sam Houston in 1890 and expanded again in 1905 with the Cavalry and Light Artillery Post. These areas, plus the New Post of the 1930s, constitute the largest collection of historic buildings in the Department of Defense (800+) and form the Fort Sam Houston National Historic Landmark.

Located in the heart of San Antonio, the post is the birthplace of military aviation and saw the development of the concept of airborne operations. The post evolved into the “Home of Army Medicine” after World War II and into the “Home of Military Medicine” with the establishment of the Medical Education and Training Campus in 2010. 
I love old post cards!
Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) is the Flagship of Army Medicine! BAMC is the command, comprised of ten separate organizations, that provides inpatient care, outpatient care, advanced rehabilitative services and troop leadership.
Original BAMC
Many of our wounded warriors are brought
here to rehab and recuperate. The burn center
is second to none.
BAMC today
Yes, the "infamous" Geronimo was at Ft Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas in 1886.    He stayed in a tent in the Quadrangle. Today there are deer,  peacocks, geese and dove ...What a peaceful and serene setting with a remarkable history.
When my grandchildren were young they loved for me to take them to the Quadrangle to feed the peacocks, geese, and deer that would walk right up to them looking for a handout.
Well fed deer resting around the old watch tower

From some of the story's I've heard about the infamous legend...It wouldn't surprise me.

Geronimo and other Native American POW's at Fort Sam Houston in 1886..the Apache War Chief remained a POW for 27 years until his death.

Geronimo 1829-1909
  In 1905 Geronimo  published his autobiography, and that same year he received a private audience with President Theodore Roosevelt, unsuccessfully pressing the American leader to let his people return to Arizona. He was never allowed to return to his homeland and in the end regretted surrendering, wishing he had fought to the death.

The Post Chapel
Edge of parade field
Fort Sam Theatre
More Barracks
The row of historic Officer's homes is quite impressive.
The Grandkids also loved the war machines on display.
 Another old post card.
Before 9/11, a city street ran through the center of the post. Within a day or two after the attack, the street was barricaded and remains so to this day.

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on Memorial Day

I lived within a half block of Fort Sam for seven years and occasionally late in the evening
I would hear the eerie sound of Taps being played on a bugle...slow, clear, and beautifully. I never knew why or who it was for but a wave of sadness always accompanied it.


Happy Holidays From San Antonio Texas!

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, San Antonio hosts it's annual tree lighting in Alamo Plaza and has it's annual Holiday River Parade. This year the huge tree is trimmed in red, white, and blue lights to honor our military. 

Photos of past Holiday Seasons below:

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful
Holiday Season!


Tuscany In The Texas Hill Country?


In an article listing their choices for the best summer vacation destinations, the New York Times shared with the world what those of us who live in the Texas Hill Country already know - we're number one. Citing the growing wine country, vibrant music scene, inventive cuisine and festivals, the author of the article declared that a visit to the Hill Country's rolling hills was like a visit to Tuscany. However, the author is far from the first to note the areas resemblance to the rich landscape and feel of Tuscany. And luckily for those who live and play here, we can experience la dolce vita daily, minus the exhausting international flight and poor exchange rate.

One of the main characteristics the Texas Hill Country and Tuscany share are their gorgeous landscapes. Wide-open blue skies and rolling hills mark the areas, with ever changing colors of the seasons. Spring brings green hills with splashes of colorful wildflowers, while fall emerges in golds and reds. The land itself is fairly rocky, and the vegetation as a result is hardy and capable of handling a drier, warmer climate.
 Also, thanks to the similarities in land, both areas share a terrain which is ideal for certain agriculture. In short, they both make fantastic wine countries. Both areas' rocky, well-draining soil, temperate climate and low humidity allow for ideal grape-growing conditions. Local wines reflect this in their rich and complex tastes. As a result, the wine industry in the Texas Hill Country is booming, with over 30 wineries in the immediate area I live in and over 180 scattered in the various wine regions in Texas that grow a wide variety of grapes.  Similarly, olive growers have started to take a foothold in the area, hoping to enjoy the success of the industry in Italy.

The Texas Hill Country gives visitors and residences a taste of much that is wonderful about Tuscany. And yet, it gives so much more by adding its own singular charm and traditions...and dialect.
Texas is one of the oldest wine growing states in the US, with vines planted here more than a hundred years before they were planted in California or Virginia. In the 1650s, Franciscan priests planted Mission vines in West Texas, near modern day El Paso. The vines were a necessity in the production of  sacramental wine. The horticulturist Thomas Munson used Texas vines to create hundreds of hybrid grapes and conducted significant research in finding root stock immune to the Phylloxera epidemic, which saved the French wine industry from total ruin. The advent of Prohibition in the United States virtually eliminated Texas' wine industry, which didn't experience a revival until the 1970s, beginning with the founding of Llano Estacado and Pheasant Ridge wineries  near Lubbock and the La Buena Vida winery in Springtown. The Texas wine industry still feels the effects of Prohibition today with a quarter of Texas' 254 counties still having dry laws on the books.
Map of Texas Winery's



Pass The Banana?

 I have no idea if all this banana info a friend sent me is true or not but since I love them and eat them quite often I thought I would pass it on.

A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression 'going bananas' is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!
This is interesting.

After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fibre. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Anaemia :
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.
Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey.. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.


Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips.. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Temperature control:
Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood Enhancer tryptophan.
Smoking &Tobacco Use:
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe it's time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!'