Three Things That Make Hungry Texans Weep
November 8, 2017 by noelbranham in People, Texas 6 Comments

Texans are known for their incredible taste in food, whether it’s BBQ, Tex-Mex, or just plain Southern they know how to make your mouth happy. That said, there are some things that come across to Texans as just plain wrong when it comes to food: Calling queso cheese dip. This is America people, use the language of native Texans: Queso. It’s Spanish for cheese, and English for the ‘Nectar of the heavens.’  The only time you will hear a Texan saying ‘cheese’ and ‘dip’ in the same sentence is if they have come out with a new kind of cheddar flavored tobacco. (Fun fact: If you add enough jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro, and onions to your queso, it becomes a vegetable.) Asking if it’s cilantro or parsley in the checkout line. Many Texans have noticed that the second they step out of their beloved state’s borders there is a lack of understanding about the differences between cilantro (Not pronounced SEE-LAWN-TROGH) and parsley. If it has hints of a soap-like fragrance and you have the sudden urge to throw it in queso, it’s cilantro. If you really want to make a Texan confused, refer to cilantro as ‘coriander leaves’, they will politely correct you with their southern charm. […]

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5 Questions People Always Ask About The Simple Soul of Susan
October 30, 2017 by noelbranham in Books, Texas 10 Comments

Thanks to everyone who has been reading The Simple Soul of Susan (SSS) and reviewing! I get a lot of questions from reviewers and readers about the book and wanted to answer them here on the blog. Here are some of the most frequently asked ones: “Is this really your first book? I’m having a hard time believing it!” Yes, it is! I wrote it when I was homesick for Texas. It helped me remember all the things I love about Texas and eased my homesickness a bit. One of the reasons I decided to follow through with publishing it was so that I could always take a bit of home with me wherever I ended up. “Who published this? It is very well written and put together beautifully.” This is a self-published book. I had two incredible editors who made this a possibility. Julia Roller was my main editor and over the course of six months, she essentially helped me rewrite it twice… talk about passion and dedication! She is also an accomplished author and has some fantastic writings out, one of them being Mom Seeks God which I recommend checking out! Lee Ann A. was my copy-editor. Besides working for NASA before […]

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Four Reasons You Should Read Northanger Abbey
October 24, 2017 by noelbranham in Books 5 Comments

Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma, Sense and Sensibility… These are all among books by Jane Austen that most people have read. The only book missing from this list is the quick and fascinating Northanger Abbey. Here are four reasons you NEED some NA in your life: Henry Tilney: Of all the males in Austen’s works Henry Tilney is among my favorites. His sarcasm and cleverness are highlighted by the endearing banter he shares throughout the book.  Realistic and witty, he mocks polite society in an attempt to show them for what they really are: social climbing gold diggers. He finds Catherine’s kindhearted and optimistic view of the world refreshing and endearing… and able to tame his sometimes cynical heart. Henry: “And are you altogther pleased with Bath?” Catherine: “Yes–I like it very well.” Henry: “Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.” The Dance Banter: None of Austen’s works have such flirtatious and smile-inducing dance banter. By ‘dance banter’ I mean the conversation that is exchanged while they perform the steps to their dance. Henry invites Catherine to dance on multiple occasions and their most private conversations are a treat to listen in on. The Mystery: What happened to Henry’s mother? Was she killed by Henry’s father? Was Northanger […]

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