Guest: Sameena Bachmeier

Today we welcome Sameena Bachmeier to Romancing the Book.  Sameena is the author of “Banyan”, a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel, which is coming soon from MuseItUp Publishing.

Sameena Michelle Bachmeier was born January 10, 1980 in New Delhi, India. She was adopted at eight months old and has resided in the United States since. Since her younger days she has had a driven fascination for writing and was excited to attend the Young Authors Conference at a young age. She has been inspired over the years by many authors but her main source of inspiration is derived from Roald Dahl. In Sameena’s elementary school days as a class assignment she had to write to someone famous, she wrote to Roald Dahl. He actually wrote her back an amazing rhyming letter.

As the years went by, Sameena began to write children’s books, and young adult novels. Her recent achievement has been her children’s book titled “Old Mother Hubbard’s Mixed Up Cupboard”, a spin on the classic fairy tales, is currently released as of Aug 2011.

Sameena has three elementary age children Christian, Kasandra, and Kylee who inspire her everyday. She is happily married her longtime soulmate Matthew Bachmeier. Sameena seeks to continue to create unique and inviting stories for all ages to fall in love with.

Sameena can be found online at:

Wishing for a change in the future can sometimes take you through a journey of the past.

Kannie Irnest had the picture perfect life as a child until her father left her and her mother alone. It wasn’t long before the world as she knew it began unraveling and creating a web of misery around her. Her mother was no longer the loving mother she knew, she had become bitter by the lonely days and Kannie sank into a depression. The only joy Kannie seemed to find was with her friend Kristopher. They were like two peas in a pod since a young age and when they were together it was as if the world around them didn’t matter. Mysteriously one day on Kannie’s way to school she is given a Banyan tree stick. She learns that it is a wishing stick. Although skeptical, Kannie is desperate to experience a happy life and she wishes on the Banyan stick to be anywhere but in that moment in her life. She awakens to everyday there after to a different historical event that lead her to experiences, places and people she had only heard about in books. Her journey takes her from suddenly existing in the midst of the Salem Witch trials, to liberating the Southern Slaves alongside Harriet Tubman, to adventures with the Minotaur in the neverending labyrinth, to walking alongside the wise Gandhi and more! The journey she embarks on teaches her to believe in herself, forgive others, and come to the realization that Kristopher truly is the boy of her dreams for more reasons than she could’ve imagined. Kannie learns to appreciate the path that is layed out in front of her and endure her most daunting task at hand yet, she also now must find her way back home.

Banyan Excerpt:

“Wake up! Wake up!” Kannie was jolted awake by an unfamiliar voice. “Have you seen my sketch pad, woman?”

Kannie sat and rubbed her eyes. “What, who are you?”

The hyper man kept fussing about the room and rattled on, “Good Lord, I’m the one who drank last night while you slept, and you can’t remember me? Serves me right for letting a beggar sleep in my house.”

A beggar? Kannie was confused and dismayed to find herself dressed in rags. “I really can’t remember who you are.”

“I am Vincent. Good God, woman! The name is Vincent. Now, my brushes?” He scratched his reddish-brown frazzled hair glaring at her for not producing the brushes. Kannie scanned the room. She noticed some sitting on the night table, but he didn’t seem to see them.

Kannie pointed to them, “Those brushes?”

Vincent turned. “Aha!” He snatched the brushes and stormed out the room. There was something familiar about the man, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. She had never met him before, but somehow she recognized his face. Kannie heard the front door slam shut and caught sight of him out the window scrambling across the yard and off toward what appeared to be a market.

Kannie rolled out of the rickety little bed and couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of it. It was wooden and looked like it was made for a dwarf. Where in the world am I now? She thought of Buzz and Neil as she looked out the window and up toward the radiant, sunny blue skies. She knew they would make it back to Earth and cherished the wonderful friends she had made. Will they even remember me? There was nothing in the history books about anyone named Irnest being there. Who is the crotchety old man that just left?

Her feet creaked on the wooden flooring as she proceeded to the master common room of the house. It was a mess.

“What a sty,” she exclaimed, rather repulsed by the manner in which the house was kept. Clothing strewn about, dirty china dishes on the table, and art brushes and paints everywhere. She spotted some canvases drying in the kitchen area. She walked toward them. There was one in particular she recognized immediately. “The Cafe Terrace at Night,” Kannie whispered into the empty house. “That means that was…Van Gogh! Why didn’t I realize it, he said his name was Vincent. Vincent Van Gogh.” Kannie looked at the other paintings and recognized some of the others; The Sunflowers and Eternity’s Gate.

Looking down at her tattered clothes she decided to make herself more presentable. She found the outhouse, right behind the house which was a bigger pig sty. She was disappointed to find no mirror in sight. She headed back to the house and finally found a mirror attached to a wooden dresser. She froze at the sight of her reflection in the smeary mirror. She barely recognized herself.

It had been days since she had seen herself and she stared hard into her dark hazel eyes. It was like something was changed, she felt different. She knew she had grown from her experiences and that she viewed the people and the world around her differently now. She combed her hair with her fingertips and tied it back in a flattering ponytail. She smiled, knowing she was still Kannie, just growing up in different ways.

Her clothes were rags sewn together, unfitting, and draped on her small-framed body. She decided to do something nice for the man who let her stay in his home. For Vincent. She was going to do something she hadn’t done in awhile. The chores.

Kannie ran around the house and opened all the windows, letting the fresh air fill the rooms. She guessed the season was late spring by the temperature and the flowers in the garden. Light radiated off the walls and Vincent’s paintings, making them look glorious. They were so much more incredible when you saw the original work.

She started in the kitchen, and after all the dishes were done she went from room to room to straighten, dust, and pick up. She left his room alone, feeling awkward in a man’s bedroom.

Just as she finished wiping down the floors Kannie heard the screen door slam again. He was back.

Kannie walked to the front entryway. “Surprise!” she said, flashing her grand smile. He stopped in the middle of the room abruptly.

“Surprise? I already knew you were here.”

“No, no, no. Don’t you notice anything else?”

Vincent looked confused. “You did your hair finally?”

Kannie put her hand on her hip like an annoyed housewife, “No. I cleaned your whole house for letting me stay.”

Vincent looked around the room. “Looks good.” Kannie was a bit disappointed with his response.

“Well, you are welcome, all the same,” she snorted, and headed back to her room. She looked out the window down at the market. She noticed a sign, Arles Bakery. Arles? Kannie had never heard of Arles before.

She hollered to Vincent who was bustling about with something, “Where is Arles?”

He shouted back at her, “You’re standing in it.”

Kannie walked to the doorway and spotted him fumbling through a stack of sketches.

“No, I mean literally, where is it.”

He giggled. “Here, in Arles, France. It’s this very city you are in. I suppose you don’t know what year this is either.”

Seeking information she joked back, “Yeah, what year is it?”

“1888 of course!” he stated.

Kannie couldn’t keep from smiling; France. She had always dreamed about going to France and now here she was. Maybe this whole wishing tree thing is going to go my way for a while.

“So I saw your paintings. I really like Cafe Terrace at Night,” Kannie blurted out, eager to let him know how much she adored his painting. Vincent stopped what he was doing and set down his sketches. He glared at her.

“How do you know what I am planning to name that painting?”

Kannie realized she had startled him, the name of the painting wouldn’t be famous until after his death. She tried to cover up.

“Well, I didn’t know that was the actual name, I just realized it was you know, the Cafe Terrace and it was, uh, at night.”

Vincent thought for a moment and resumed his fumbling.