List Price: 20
Available: October 2013
“I went back to Seguin, as an adult, to the Guadalupe, to find Idella, who could talk with the dead and whose greatest gift was the finding of things lost.”
Brought up on her family’s “great epic tales of ware and adventure, love and murder, violence and redemption,” Janice Woods Windle searched for the sources that could tell her the truth about the extraordinary women whose blood flowed through her veins. What she discovered was more dramatic still and from those tales she has crafted a breathtaking work of historical fiction about two dynastic lines, the King and Woods families – the story of the true women of Seguin, and the giants whose destines touched their lives.
Here, Euphemia Texas Ashby King stands firm against the Mexican general Santa Anna and the feared Comanche, Tarantula, and leads the bitter battle for women’s suffrage; Georgia Virginia Lawshe Woods defends her household by any means necessary from the sexual blackmail of a corrupt Yankee commandant; and Bettie Moss King fends off wolves, storms, and the Ku Klux Klan as she steers her loved ones through the turbulent birth of modern times. Deeply devoted to family, land and the state of Texas, passionate and strong-willed, these are extraordinary characters who live, love, and die in a river of time reaching from the battle of the Alamo to World War II.
Interweaving the heroic naturalism of Edna Ferber with the magical realism of Texas legend and the real-life history of Sam Houston, Santa Anna, and other historical figures, Janice Woods Windle has transmuted her ancestral provenance into a remarkable work of literary invention and popular appeal.
“Janice Woods Windle has written a novel as big-hearted and powerful as the Texas from which it sprang. True Women is the story of strong women, proud women, wise women-Texas women. The story of Euphemia Ashby King and the others is fiction that reads like fact. As the grandson, son, husband, and father of Texas Women, this reporter can tell you: True Women tells true.” -Dan Rather
James A. Michener calls it a “miracle.” Anne Rivers Siddons hails “a great windstorm of a novel.” Governor Ann Richards of Texas promises it will “capture your imagination and your heart.” Dynastic Texas fiction suffused with magic, True Women is a stunning first novel based on the author’s own roots.
Janice Woods Windle is a lifelong Texan. She was born in San Antonio and grew up in the small town of Seguin, birthplace of her novel, True Women. She has lived in El Paso since 1961 with her husband Wayne Windle, a prominent attorney. After 33 years as President of El Paso Community Foundation, Mrs. Windle continues a full-time career as Senior Advisor to the current President of the El Paso Community Foundation, an organization whose purpose is to raise money for a public charitable endowment and to allocate grants to the El Paso region. During her tenure, the Foundation’s assets have surged from $95,000 to $100 million. In 1990, El Paso Community Foundation received a bequest that included an NBC television station and two radio stations. Mrs. Windle is a graduate of The University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration. Her academic honors include Alpha Phi, Mortar Board and American Association of University Women’s “Woman of the Year.” In 1995, she was honored with a resolution from the Texas Senate for her achievements as an author and as a community fund-raiser. She has served as campaign chairman for governors, mayors and senators from 1962 through 1990. In 2000, she was honored as the University of Texas at El Paso College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Ex-Student Award recipient.
In 1985 she began gathering old family recipes for a wedding gift cookbook to her oldest son and his bride. Behind the recipes were many tales of adventures, many touching legends about the lives of the women who had used them. When she talked about the ancestral lore she was collecting, her friends wanted to hear more stories so she set out to write a book using this heritage of oral history of remarkable frontier women. Their true stories reveal strong women caught up in the passions of war and revolution, slavery and redemption, lust and murder.
True Women is Mrs. Windle’s first novel and has been published in eight foreign languages. Subsequent to the publication of True Women, Mrs. Windle responded to readers who asked her to complete the original collection of antique recipes that began as the impetus for her historical novel; The True Women Cookbook was published in February 1997. In May of 1997, CBS aired a two-night True Women miniseries produced by Hallmark Entertainment based upon the novel. Her second novel Hill Country, was published in October of 1998. Hill Country is the story of her paternal grandmother, Laura Hoge Woods. Mrs. Windle has completed her third novel, Will’s War, the story of her paternal grandfather and his trial for treason during World War I and its impact on the lives of the women around him.