Hidden Gems

I returned from a trip into the heart of the Texas Hill Country with two new must-return-to destinations.

The first is historic Salado, Texas and the Stagecoach Inn.


Talk about history! Set on the south bank of Salado Creek, fed by both fresh and mineral water, Native Americans often camped while hunting bison and other wild game. The Tonkawa Indians established a village on this site. Spaniard explorers who passed through named the small oasis, “Salado” (salty or salted – referring to the mineral waters.)

Most of the north-south travel across Texas from 1860 to 1890 came through Salado, which was both a major stop along the famous Chisolm Trail as well as a Butterfield Stage lines stop. In 1861, one of the area’s first settlers erected the Shady Villa Hotel. Many varied and distinguished guests found food and rest here, including Sam Houston, General George Custer, Robert E. Lee, cattle barons Shanghai Pierce and Charles Goodnight and outlaws Sam Bass and Jesse James.


Sam Houston stayed in this room which still has the original flooring and fireplace.


If this ancient tree could talk!

In 1943, the Shady Villa Motel, in disrepair and abandoned, received new life along with the new name The Stagecoach Inn.

This walk down History Lane was one I’ll not soon forget. And, the food in The Stagecoach Inn restaurant was some of the best I’ve ever had.

The small village of Comfort, Texas is nestled in the southern part of the Texas Hill Country. It has some of the most beautiful scenery to be found anywhere on the planet!

Comfort has remained an unincorporated community since its founding by German immigrants known as The Freethinkers in the 1850’s. Some of the residents refer to it as a shire and others as a community but don’t dare call it a town or city. They are quick to correct you.

The Historic Downtown district features authentic nineteenth-century German-style architecture.

It is rich with history, arts of all kinds, delicious food and boasts not only a winery but a distillery.

This was my first time to visit a distillery and the tour taught me a lot.

What is different about this distillery? They make moonshine out of Prickly Pear Cactus. I had a Lemon Drop Martini made from this moonshine and it was delicious!

Texas Hill Country Distillers

Fascinating facts about the process of making high-quality hooch: Did you know that  to make Gin, you must have Juniper Berries? Did you know you can distill wine and end up with a smooth-tasting high-octane liquor? Did you know you can make hooch out of cactus that is not Tequila? Well neither did I, but I learned all those things on the tour.

Of course, I brought home a couple of bottles of the Prickly Pear Cactus Moonshine.


The community of Comfort, Texas, the incredibly beautiful landscape rich with wildlife, and the friendly open spirit of its residents make it a return destination.



Hill Country Writing Symposium


Hello, fellow Texas authors! I want to make you aware of, and invite you to, a Writing Symposium in Comfort, Texas September 14 – 16, 2017.

Yes, that is SOON!!

I will be presenting two separate workshops at this event to be held at the Comfort Public Library. If you are anywhere near this area and wish to hone your writing skills through hands-on workshops, check this out.

Hill Country Writing Symposium – Fall Edition

September 14-16, 2017

Comfort Public Library

701 High St, Comfort, TX 78013

Thursday, September 14, 2017 – Meet & Greet Reception

7 PM to 9 PM

More information on location to follow.

Friday, September 15, 2017

9 AM Nature Writing

10 AM Five Forms to Use to Awaken the Poet in You

11 AM Writing for Non-Fiction

Noon – Lunch on your own

1 PM How Many Ways Can You Say ____?

2 PM Writing for Young Audiences

3 PM Journaling

4 PM Editing 101

Saturday, September 16, 2017

10 AM Writing for Different Media

11 AM Marketing 101 – Renegade Style

Noon – Lunch on your own

1-4 PM Book Festival in Library


Attendee Fees – Check options below for any discounts that may already be applied.

Regular Purchase $65 All Inclusive

10 Sessions plus Cocktail Reception

Plus 1 Free book from a presenter of their choice.

(hotel, food, misc at attendee’s own expense)