March 2007

Dear friends of Desert Rose Books,

With the approach of Spring, we anticipate feeling the warmth of the sun and wonder about the inventory at the local garden center.

As many of you know, I'm partial to Scented Geraniums. I have a 'thing' for Lavender too. I'll be placing my order for a couple of new varieties in the week ahead.

I'm waiting on a beautiful, sunny day when I can drop all the busy work and work in the garden. The winter really ravaged things out there...it's a bit of a mess.

This month's article is on the late artist - Gwen Frostic. After reading it, you might like to take a closer look at her work. Visit her web-site at: http://www.gwenfrostic.com

I also wanted to give you an update on the sequel to 'Whispers on the Wind'... It's due out in the summer of 2007, if all goes well...

I think I may love this story even more. Once again Kate is in the thick of it. I'll keep you posted.

On April 1st, I will be signing books at the 'Art and the Book Fair' in Fallbrook, Calfornia. Come by and say hello. Directions to the event and general information are available at the Desert Rose Books web-site ( link below ).

If you would like to pick up a signed copy of 'Whispers on the Wind', I am offering free shipping and handling. Simply print out the mail order form available at the desert rose books web-site and write 'a little green' anywhere on the front of it.

As always, please forward this newsletter to friends and family whom you think might enjoy it.

Happy Spring!

all the best,


A Little Green

by Bridget Geegan Blanton

The act of contemplating a piece of art often helps to evoke my innermost convictions. Thoughts and concerns connected to daily living are lifted and I can view the world from the vantage point of my own truth. I am able to access my authentic self when moved by an artist's expression of their world or their philosophy on life. For a period of time, I escape the demands of the human condition and simply reflect on feelings that rise to the surface. Like scripture and nature, art nourishes our souls.

I remember the moment when I was first introduced to the art of Gwen Frostic. As I look back on this memory, it seems more like an encounter or an introduction. I was immediately struck by a feeling of familiarity. Her art reminded me of the flora and fauna of my mid-western childhood. As it turns out, Frostic's art most aptly depicts the plant life and wee creatures found in the forests and the plains that make up the mid-western landscape. Her depiction of wild violets, an absolute childhood obsession, awakened dusty memories of my early urban years spent in the city of Chicago. In the sea of cement that surrounded the two-flat that we lived in, the discovery of a wild violet was the most magical phenomenon in the world to me. As a young girl, my cousin Peg and I would mash the violets up and make cakes for the fairies. I cherished these delicate flowers and still do.

The experience of Gwen Frostic's art is for me what the term 'simplicity' might look like if an artist deliberately set out to encapsulate it in ink or paint. Frostic captures the delicate clusters of white flowers that constitute the hardy Queen Anne's Lace, in a most eloquent style. This simple flower that is seen along the roadside is the epitome of humble simplicity. Gwen Frostic's strong connection to nature is evident in her work. You are aware of the respect she has for the habitat and the marvel she must have experienced when coming upon a creature in the green cathedral of a forest in full summer bloom. You can almost hear the cicadas in symphony. It's wonderful when your response to art facilitates imagery and travel within your own mind.

Gwen Frostic's art portrays a deep-rooted respect for nature. Her art speaks to this issue and leaves me inspired. I have always been moved by simple, humble beauty in this world of ours. Humility has a unique dignity that is not loud or boisterous. Instead, it is hidden and silent, yet profound. It was a way of life for Gwen Frostic and through her art, she shared it with the rest of us. Taking along the essence of the Gwen Frostic experience into your daily life is like bringing 'a little green' into your day. We've all heard the saying, "it's the simple things"; and indeed that is where we feel the greatest love and contentment in our lives.

Simplicity is just what we need in our busy, materialistic lives. For those that live with me, they know that my idea of a good time is to spend the day outside, with a bag of rich potting soil, some pots and an array of scented geraniums. I'm released from my cares. Once again, I'm that little girl who discovered a wild violet. All that matters is the work before me. It's a gift that I give to myself every spring. There's nothing as beneficial as stepping outside and taking a deep breath. Fresh air is so very therapeutic.

We can apply the philosophy of 'a little green' to every aspect of our lives. Step away from the technological devices and spend time with the ones you love, doing the things you love to do. Make a pot of soup, take tea, read a book or get creative. We can appreciate the little patch of environment that we're responsible for and notice the nature that it supports, as well as care for it to the best of our ability. We can stop being bogged down by our possessions, by bringing home less and giving more of it away. Clearing away the clutter is incredibly liberating. It's amazing to me that when I tune in to the great outdoors, my mind goes to work on problems and solutions without my direct input. I cease worrying about children or outcomes and I realize that all is right with the world. I live in the present moment.

'A little green' can be the theme of our day, our writing or artwork. We can decide at any time to quiet the incessant reels that play over and over again in our minds. We can give our problems to God and then get out of our own way. The world will continue to spin on its axis without our direct involvement. It's not easy to slow down, but stepping outside is a good way to begin. Just as Gwen Frostic allowed nature to nourish her artistic expression, we can allow nature to nourish our souls. The more often we clear away the debris that piles up in the form of self-defeating thoughts or dust gathering knick knacks around the house, the more we can be open to new possibilities in our lives. Reacquaint yourself with the great outdoors, there's so much to see.

Visit Bridget's web-site and read an excerpt from her debut historical fiction novel, 'Whispers on the Wind'. It's available for purchase online or via mail order at: https://www.desertrosebooks.com


Strawberry-Almond Cream Napoleans

1 sheet (half of 17-ounce package) frozen puff pastry

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup skim milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup light whipped topping

2 cups stemmed and sliced strawberries

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Powdered sugar, for garnish


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw folded pastry sheet 20 minutes.

Open sheet and cut along folds to make three equal strips; halve each strip to make six rectangles. Space apart on baking sheet. Bake in center of oven about 15 minutes until well browned and baked through. Remove to rack to cool.

Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk pudding mix, milk and extract 2 minutes; fold in whipped topping to blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.

Carefully split each piece of pastry in half horizontally. Cover bottom halves with almonds, then pudding mixture and sliced strawberries, dividing equally. Cover with pastry tops. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows), if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

To make Strawberry Sauce: Stem and halve 1 pint basket California strawberries and puree in blender container with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice until smooth. To serve, divide sauce among 6 plates; top each with Napoleon. Note: All components of this dessert can be prepared several hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate pudding mixture, strawberries and sauce. Assemble just before serving.

And now a parting thought...

Listening... to the wildwind symphonies... Seeing... each tiny bit 'o loveliness

Sara Gwendolyn Frostic

Desert Rose Books hopes you've enjoyed our brief publication. As always, your comments are welcome.

Please visit us at www.desertrosebooks.com Home of the historical fiction novel, 'Whispers on the Wind' Pick up a signed copy at our online bookstore for just $14.95. Experience the writing style of Bridget Geegan Blanton. Visit the sample chapter page that portrays a portion of the new historical fiction novel, 'Whispers on the Wind'

Enjoy your day. As always, thanks for spending a little time with us. Desert Rose Books