Military Balloon Joy (and H&H News)

So I found this article a while ago about the first woman pilot balloonist, Sophie Blanchard of the late 18th century. And while it was interesting learning about such a unique woman (even though things didn’t go well for her), honestly the part that stood out to me the most was the part about Napolean. Partly because Napolean had made her his Chief Air Minister of Ballooning (I’m sorry but that’s just epic), but also because apparently Napolean had wanted to invade Great Britain with balloons.

That’s right: a balloon invasion.

History lessons could have been so much more interesting

It’s not that I want Great Britain to have been invaded. Rather, it’s more like I would have liked to read about an army loading up in, what, dozens… hundreds… who-knows-how-many hot air balloons, floating lazily over the English Channel, and engaging in (when compared to today’s standards anyway) some rather gentlemanly warfare.

Words would have been exchanged. Words like “good sir” and “do your worst.”  Gloves may or may not have been thrown down into the dirt to show that one meant business. And at the end of the day, both sides would keep to themselves, drink some wine, find some wenches, until the following day when they would start killing each other again at the mutually agreed-upon time.

All right, so my imagination is getting away from me and isn’t at all representative of what would have happened. But that’s part of the fun of it all, it didn’t happen, so I’m totally allowed to imagine it going down however I like.

Anyway, learning about Napolean’s balloon infatuation has, so far, been the most awesome thing I’ve learned about in 2019. So naturally I shared this information with the folks in my Readers Club–the world needs to know! And to my delight a couple of people emailed me back to let me know that the Union army in the American Civil War used hot air balloons to scout. The Union Army Balloon Corps was an actual thing.

I don’t know why this fills me with so much joy. Maybe it’s because of the juxtaposition of it all. Military (violence, killing, death) paired with balloons (happy fun times) is just so wonderfully bizarre that I kind of wish Terry Gilliam would make a movie about it.

You know, kind of like this…

Have you discovered any neat little fun facts that bring you joy?

Hazel and Holly

We’re nearing the pointy end of things with little more than a month before Hazel and Holly comes out. Hooray! An interesting development on this front is that we did actually decide to hire a publicist in helping me market the book. It was becoming extraordinarily time consuming with 1. trying to figure out ways to get word out about the book and then 2. actually following through with it. I figured there’s definitely some value in hiring someone who knows how to do that stuff which then frees me up to, you know, write.

And while that has freed me up a little and allowed me (somewhat) to return to writing book three in the Tree and Tower series (I’ve really missed writing about those guys), I’ve still been pretty busy with Hazel and Holly.

Primarily I’ve been organizing a series of giveaways among Instagrammers and bloggers who’ve read and enjoyed the book. There’s even a couple giveaways happening right now on Instagram if you want to check them out: hollyheartsbooks and These giveaways end pretty soon (April 10th and 13th respectively), but the Instagrammers are lovely gals and are worth following if you’d like to get some book related pics in your Instagram feed. There’s more giveaways on the horizon, and even an interview/Q&A later on in the month and an online author chat next month (no, I’m not at all freaking out about that…). Oh, and there’s also an audiobook in the works, but no ETA yet on when it’ll be ready.

So, yeah. That’s basically been me lately. Geeking out over balloons while H&H continues to dominate my life. The publicity campaign starts late April. I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen there but I figure it should be an interesting experience. I’ll be sure to share any noteworthy happenings here should anything, uh, noteworthy happen.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Lori Wing - 4 years ago

I love it! And while there are no hot air balloons, this post brings to mind a commercial that includes battles and balloons, and brings me much joy.
Here is a link:

    Sara C. Snider - 4 years ago

    Haha! Yes, it’s a lot like that! 😀

Jeff (sage) - 4 years ago

I have seen pictures of balloons used for reconnaissance in the American Civil War, but the idea of them being offensive weapons is interesting (and they’d make fairly big targets). But, it would make a good Monty Python skit. Congratulation on your book.

    Sara C. Snider - 4 years ago

    Yeah, they’re so big and obvious that it kind of takes away any element of surprise. But maybe if you had enough of them you could overwhelm the opponent haha. Thank you!

      Jeff - 4 years ago

      I just recalled another use of balloons in war. Japan employed them against our West Coast during WW2. They were unmanned and designed to explode on impact–the idea of starting wildfires in the West that would tie up people and create chaos. I think they were launched from the deck of submarines (on surface) and they were not very effective.

        Sara C. Snider - 4 years ago

        Huh. I had no idea about that. Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Morrison - 4 years ago

It’s nice to read another post from you. This is really interesting. I like hot air balloons. I always liked the scene in the Wizard of Oz when the Wizard took off in the balloon.

    Sara C. Snider - 4 years ago

    Thanks Michelle! Hot air balloons are good fun. I always get happy when I see one in the air, rare though that is. And I love The Wizard of Oz! 😀

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