Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving. I am so blessed by all my readers,  fans,  family and friends around the world. Thank you for everything you do. I truly appreciate you!
                                       - Allison Bruning -

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ExpressYourself: Just Call Me Garfield

Just Call Me Garfield

This week I was asked to share with my readers my favorite recipe or meal. My favorite recipe was my grandmother's potato salad. I don't have her original recipe but here is one that I found on All Recipes that is close to it. 

My favorite meal since childhood has always been lasagna. My mom use to make a three cheese lasagna that was so good! Hmm, lasagna. I think I might have to have some lasagna.....hmm.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Down In the Bayou: Jacques Cartier #French #Louisiana

Last week I introduced you to my new series Down in the Bayou with an overview of French history in Louisiana. Although Louisiana is a state in modern day United States it was in fact the term used to describe all of New France during the 17th through 18th centuries.

The French began their claims in the New World with the expeditions of Jacques Cartier. 

 Jacques Cartier 

Jacques Cartier was born on the same day that Christopher Columbus sailed for his first voyage in 1492. He was born in Saint-Malo, a fortified sea port in North France that lies on the English Channel. He was of Briton descent meaning his ancestry came from Brittany in France. 

Jacques Cartier learned to navigate in Dieppe. Afterwards, he sailed with fishermen to Newfoundland. He also accompanied Giovanni da Verrazzano on at least one of his voyages. 

In 1534, Cartier met with King Francis I of France with one goal in mind. His family were prominent watchmakers in Europe who were seeking new places to trade. Cartier wanted to find the passage that Giovanni did not. He believed the Northwest passage through the New World to Asia would open new trade routes for his family. King Francis I had other plans. He commissioned Cartier to take two ships and 61 men to the New World in order to find spices, gold and the Northwest Passage. Cartier left port, set sail across the Arctic Ocean and found Newfoundland. 

Join me next week as we discuss Cartier's second voyage. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

#WhatsUpWithAllison: Writing and Webcomics

Good Morning!

This week is the last week of NaNoWriMo and I have to get myself in gear if I want to win this year. I have been so swamped with a new teaching job that I have forgone writing everyday. I know that's not like me at all. Now that I'm into the swing of things I can relax and write.

After I finish writing Le Creole I plan to turn my attention to a few webcomics that I have planned. I'm planning to have Le Creole published in January or February. My webcomics will be published this spring. I have some wonderful illustrators who are interested in my work. They are amazing!!! More information will be coming soon about these projects.

#Blessing: Workplace Paradise

This week's small blessing is a large one for me. I am so blessed to work as the Elementary Educator at Todd Academy. Todd Academy is a private school that educates students from grades 3rd through 12th that have an IQ of 130 or more. All of the educators who teach there are gifted as well.

The world can be a cold, hard place for anyone who is gifted. I have had my struggles and can tell you so many tales. Todd Academy is a sanctuary for me. I love working with administration and other educators who get me. It's just an amazing thing when you are work around people who not only understand you but appreciate you as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#ExpressYourself: Fav Five Characters

Express Yourself:

Five Characters That Will Remain With Me Forever

This week I was asked to reveal five fictional characters I would want to have in my life. I decided to share some of the characters that I have written that have stuck with me throughout the years. 

1) Elsa from Elsa (The Secret Heritage)
Elsa is a young woman who defies society in order to marry a man with Asperger's Syndrome. Her story and character is based on my Great Grandmother Elva Russell. I had never met my Great Grandmother before and to be honest no one in the family remembered who she was. I had searched for years for information about her so I could add it to our family tree. I finally found the information I was looking for a few years ago. I was amazed to learn about her interesting life story and knew I had to write it down. I fictionalized most of her character and story. 

2) Creek from Calico (Children of the Shawnee)
Who doesn't love Creek? Creek is a young woman who married a French trader and adopted his brother's daughter. She is the daughter of a Shawnee peace child. Creek is the youngest of six children. Her first husband was killed in the French and Indian War only days after they married. Her heart was broken yet she married Pierre a few months later. She never married him for love but did so in order for him to trade with her family. Five years later, she submitted her complete life to Pierre and became his wife under God. Creek is a devoted wife, loving mother yet is very shy. 

3)Sherlock from Bailey's Revenge (Irish Twist of Fate)
Sherlock was one of those characters that just begged for his story to be told. He is more than a brother to his younger sister, Kathleen. He's old enough to be her father and does take that role even through their father is alive. Sherlock is one of those good guys whose lives goes terribly wrong. You feel for this guy because you know in a different time and place he would have a much better life than he has in Bailey's Revenge. 

4) Albert from Field of Grace
Albert Ernst Tanner immigrated from Germany with his family only to be imprisoned in an internment in Georgia with his family because they were German. After World War I is over he and his family are released. The migrate up to Marion, Ohio where they start a grocery. It is here that he meets Ida McIntyre. The couple instantly fall in love. Albert is a good young man that wants to provide for Ida and their baby. He and Ida have been in a romantic relationship for less than a year when she tells him she is carrying his child. Albert wants to start a family with her but Ida can't let go of her inhibitions. 

5) Mary from Bailey's Revenge and Le Creole
Mary is just one of those characters that won't leave you alone until you tell her story. My fans first meet her in Bailey's Revenge. Le Creole tells the story of what happened to her right after the end of Bailey's Revenge. Mary is a very shy woman prone to depression and suicidal thoughts. Those faults often land her in situations that she doesn't want to be in. Mary is a very loving and caring mother who has been scarred by events in her life. 

#ExpressYourself: Who is #AllisonBruning

Express Yourself:
Who is Allison Bruning?

I was finally able to get back to blogging last week and, as such, found that I was behind in my Express Yourself posts. This week I will be posting two entires into the Express Yourself weekly blog hop in order to catch up. 

Last week, participants were asked to share our MBTI personality. I had never heard of the MBTI personality test until a few years ago when I was studying characterization in my MFA program at Full Sail University. The MBTI is an excellent tool to use when creating your characters. It gives you an in depth look at how they would respond to certain situation. 

According to the MBTI my personality type is: 

That really doesn't surprise me. I have always been an Introvert even though many people think I'm an Extrovert. Many people misunderstand my intentions, actions and thought process. I think the best explanation of my personality type was written by Marina Margaret Heiss and Joe Butt. Here is what they wrote on their website at

NFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.
INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people -- a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers." As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood -- particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.
Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).
This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a "tug-of-war" between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.
Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the "inspirational" professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of "hard logic", and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences. However, the significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in the latter areas tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* -- the dominant function for the INFJ type -- which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.
In their own way, INFJs are just as much "systems builders" as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ "systems" are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually "blurrier" than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted -- yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.
Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life.Those who are activists - INFJs gravitate toward such a role - are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.
INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden.They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress.INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless.The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ.
"There's something rotten in Denmark." Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led.These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time.Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.
Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.
(INFJ stands for Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging and represents individual's preferences in four dimensions characterising personality type, according to Jung's and Briggs Myers' theories of personality type.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Down in the Bayou: #Louisiana #History

Down in the Bayou

Welcome to my new blog series Down in the Bayou. Down in the Bayou is an in depth look into the culture and history of French Louisiana. This blog series will take place every Tuesday. 

My next novel, Le Créole, takes place in 1739 New Orleans. New Orleans was the capital of Louisiana at that time. You're probably thinking Louisiana as the state but at that time the term meant all of New France. The video below gives a simplified history of the French colonization in North America and the creation of Louisiana (New France).

 French explorer, René-Robert Cavelier, named the land the French controlled in the New World   as La Louisianne. He chose that name because he wanted to honor his king, King Louis XIV. 

The French made many important discoveries in the New World. The video below briefly gives an overview of important French explorers that shaped the culture of French Louisiana. 

Join me next week as we learn about Jacques Cartier and his discovery of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

LTW: Teaching the #giftedchild: A #new #blog series

Welcome to a new section on my blog titled Lighting the Way. This blog is focused on teaching gifted and talented students but some of the techniques I talk about can be applied to a regular classroom. The series will run every Monday.

So why start this blog series? 
Gifted students have a harder time in regular classrooms and will often be the students who are failing. Educators and parents who are unfamiliar with gifted students may be frustrated as to why their child is so bright but are failing academics. Gifted students have a hard time with academics in the regular classroom because they become bored. It's not that they don't want to learn. The problem is that they are not being challenged enough. So what is a parent or educator to do with that child?
Welcome to Lighting the Way: Teaching the Gifted Child.

Ok, so you may be asking yourself what does a historical fiction author have to do with educating gifted and talented students? I'm so glad you asked!

I, like many other gifted children, was easily bored in school. When I was little my parents and most of my teachers didn't understand me. I began reading at an early age and by the time I was in Kindergarten I was writing my own stories and was already reading small books. I was obsessed with words, nature, and history. Like most gifted children, I did experience some developmental delays. I was placed in special education because my parents and teachers couldn't figure out what was causing my delays. But then came 2nd grade and I quickly worked my way out of that classroom. I began to read and comprehend reading material on a 5th grade level. I was reading Einstein's Theory of Relativity and fully comprehended it in 8th grade. My interests were all over the place from history, science, reading, social studies but never, ever, in math. I have an IQ of 130 but struggled as a child because I never received the support my students do today. I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me because I never fit in with my peers. I would much rather spend the day with adults than with children my own age.

I began my teaching career in 1999 when I taught music on the Mexican Border. after obtaining my BA in Theatre Arts. I did that for a few months then the school decided to cut their art programs. In 2001, I married the love of my life and the following year I started substitute teaching throughout West Texas from 2002 to 2006. I became a 2nd grade classroom teacher at Alamo Elementary in Fort Stockton, Texas in 2006 while I was working on my certification along with a Masters of Education as a Reading Specialist. I wanted to help low readers find academic success and enjoy reading as much as I do.

In 2008, I left the classroom and moved to Kentucky with my husband. I was two classes away from finishing my Masters. I tried to transfer my teaching certificate to Kentucky but they didn't recognize my Texas Teaching Certificate so I focused on starting my writing career. In 2010, the Kentucky Young Writers Connection hired me as their Executive Director. I created writing curriculum for the entire state and implemented it throughout the Kentucky State Park system. I recognized that I could combine my passion for education and writing into one career if I taught on the university level. I applied to the MFA program at Spalding University but was denied entry because I was already an accomplished published author.

A few weeks later, I applied for the MFA at Full Sail University and was granted entrance. I graduated with my MFA in Creative Writing in June of 2013. My husband moved to Indiana a few months later after I resigned my position with the Kentucky Young Writers Connection. I tried to move my teaching certificate from Texas to Indiana but they, too, do not recognize Texas Teaching Certification. I was hired by IPS as a second grade teacher but when my certification wouldn't roll over they had to let me go. I ended up working as a homeschool teacher and a nanny while searching for a teaching position. I decided if the public school system didn't want me then perhaps I could try to teach in a private school. Yet, every private school I applied for wanted Indiana certification. I tried to find a college teaching position but had a hard time doing so because I do not have a PhD. After months of searching I decided I would just get one. So I applied at Walden University and was accepted into their program. I am currently working on my PhD in Education with a specialization in Learning, Instruction and Innovation. Last month, I was hired by Ivy Tech Community College as an adjunct professor in the English Department. Then a miracle happened last week.

I applied to teach a 2, 3, and 4th grade class at Todd Academy. A few hours later, the headmaster called me for an interview. I went to the interview the following day and never left the classroom. I didn't realize that Todd Academy was a private school that only admits children with IQ's of 130 or above. I have absolutely fallen in love with the school. Most of the other educators are like me, geniuses. Can you imagine what life is like in our school? I can. Just watch the show Scorpion and multiply that by 50 students and 15 adults.

The struggles I faced throughout my life are an example of what the normal life of a gifted child is like in the real world. We live in our little world. But with help, we can understand the outside world just enough to be able to navigate it and live thriving lives.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

#What'sUpWithAllison: New Job and NaNoWriMo

What's Up, Allison?

Good Morning! There is so much going on that's it's crazy. But I am loving every minute of it. As many of you know I am an educator and an author. I can't stop teaching. I live to teach all age levels.

This past week I started teaching a class of 2, 3, and 4th graders at Todd Academy. Todd Academy is a private school that only admits students with a 130 IQ or higher. That's the top 2% in our country.  It's a place where students and educators with those IQ's can thrive. I love it! Most of the teachers, like me,  also have an IQ of 130 or above. We are all addicted to learning and can't learn enough to settle our wandering minds! It's been a GREAT week and I am looking forward to what the future holds for me at their institution.

I haven't given up on my NaNoWriMo. I am still working on Le Creole. It's been an amazing adventure in writing this novel. There are so many twists and turns. Like Bailey's Revenge, there are characters in this book that are connected to Calico and to that book as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ExpressYourself: Making Connections

Welcome to the November issue of Express Yourself. I've fallen a week behind due to my studies but I am back in full force now.

Last week we were asked to share what our warning label would say. Here's mine:

I love to take real life situations and use them in my books. Writing is more than theraputic to me. It's a way of life. I LOVE to tell and write stories. I see the connections in life and often place those hidden connections in my books. For example, Kathleen in Bailey's Revenge is the grandmother of Calico in Calico. My latest project, Mary McGillpatrick is the sister of Kathleen and is the great aunt of Calico. Yet all three of these books are not in the same series.

My #NaNoWriMo: Whatever happened to Mary McGillpatrick?

This month is NaNoWriMo and I have been so busy working on my next book that I almost forget to write my blogs. I'm so sorry about the few months without having a blog post for my readers. This fall has been kind of hectic as I have begun working on my Ph.D in Education.

My NaNoWriMo book takes place after Bailey's Revenge and tells the story of what happened to Mary, Margaret and Jane after they boarded the French vessel in Dublin, Ireland. It's an exciting adventure that takes my readers into 1739 New Orleans. If you loved Mary in Bailey's Revenge then you are going to LOVE THIS BOOK!

I can't wait to share Mary's story with my readers. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanks for the Memories, My #Veterans

Veteran's Day 2014

I may be a bit young. In fact, I think I might be the one of the youngest to say this. To be honest it seems quite odd to be in my late thirties and admit that my father fought in WWII. People use to give me the strangest looks when I told them that. 

Today I not only honor all of the men and women in my family that bravely served our country. But I honor the two men that shaped me into the woman I am today. My father, Roland Irving Bruning, and my grandfather, Freeland Devere Carr. I had my father in my life until I was nine years old. After my father died my grandfather took the place as my father figure. These two wonderful men taught me honor, discipline, respect, love and so much more. They also taught me family means more than anything. They laid the foundation of my faith. These brave men faced so much in their lives. The taught me to respect the flag and good citizenship. I was raised on Swing Dance, Bob Hope and John Wayne.

But most of all they taught me never to forget the sacrifices of those who fought for my country. 

My mother's side of the family fought from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. Her father, Freeland Devere Carr, was a paratrooper for the army in WWII. 
Freeland Devere Carr 1924 - 2000

My father's parents were immigrants from Germany in the beginning of the 20th century. He and his brother were born in New Jersey. My father was ten years younger than his brother. His family faced the prejudice and hardships so many German-Americans faced in both wars. My father was a salvage diver in the United States Navy during WWII and Korea. He chose to fight against Germany because he loved his country.

Roland Irving Bruning
1925 - 1985
Thanks for the memories, Dad and Grandpa Carr!