*Cover Reveal* FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE!

sceneryThe Final Chapter!

This is the last book in my exciting Bachelors of Battle Creek series and I think I’ve saved the best for last. It will be out on December 1, 2015!

SHE WAS A PICKPOCKET AND HE A HALF-BREED.

Their love flamed to life in a dark jail cell after the sheriff shot Brett Liberty then arrested him.

Brett struggled to his feet and clung to the metal bars to keep from falling. “Once and for all, tell me…what did I do? What am I guilty of?”

“You were born,” the sheriff snapped. Without more, he turned and walked to the front of the jail.

His only crime was being Indian and the sheriff, driven by hate for Brett’s kind, ordered him to be hung. Brett’s only chance was his brothers- Cooper Thorne and Rand Sinclair. But they were 70 miles away.

ForeverTexasBridemedI love this cover. The amazing people in Sourcebooks’ art department just continually amaze me. Last month when I went to NYC, I met the lady who is so gifted. Dawn Adams told me a little about her process and how her main goal with each cover is capturing the emotion. She certainly does this on this cover. Notice how the man will not look directly into the eyes of the woman he’s holding? That was exactly Brett. He’s been reviled and hunted because he’s American Indian and he doesn’t want Rayna to suffer the same fate. So he can’t show her how he really feels and the love he carries deep in his heart.

Here’s the back blurb:

“There’s this thing between us that refuses to die. I’d like nothing better than to be able to…” His words faded. He’d give anything to change people’s views about his race…to be able to make her his wife.

But the world wasn’t that simple. Not for people like them.

All his life, Brett Liberty has straddled two worlds: white and Iroquois. The only place he’s truly at peace is with his wild mustangs. Arrested for the color of his skin, he discovers Rayna Harper in the cell next to him. Rough and tumble Rayna has known little kindness, but Brett sees the depth of her heart hidden beneath layers of hurt and fear, and he refuses to leave without her.

Something about the damaged, flame-haired beauty calls to him. Yet even as the two outcasts are drawn together, terrible danger at the hands men eaten with hate threatens to tear them apart. Brett knows he should let her go, but he’s taken with the woman who looks at him as if he were just any other man…and melts in his arms as if the brush of his lips is enough to chase all her demons away…

* * *

I’ll be telling more about this in the coming months. It releases on December 1, 2015.

Here are links where you can preorder:   AMAZON      BARNES AND NOBLE

In the meantime…..I’ve just completed Book one of a brand new series called MEN OF LEGEND. I’m looking forward to telling you more about this.

SIGNUP FOR MY NEWSLETTER AT http://lindabroday.com/  You’ll find it in the column on the right side of the page.

Linda Broday on twitterLinda Broday on facebook
Linda Broday
I currently live in the Texas Panhandle where we love our cowboys. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy. I'm a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author. Look for my Bachelors of Battle Creek series in 2015. TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE in January. Twice a Texas Bride in May. And Forever a Texas Bride in December. There's just something about a man in a Stetson that makes my heart beat faster. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more.

A River’s Bend Duo

Tracy Garrett Duo Web

I’m really excited to have these two stories released in one volume, since it’s how I think of them–intertwined.  Originally released in the Lassoing a Groom & Lassoing a Bride anthologies, these stories take place at the same time—exactly the same time.

That timing, I admit, was an accident.  I was writing WANTED: THE SHERIFF, Matt & Martha’s story, and suddenly, in the middle of it, a young woman was brought to Martha’s brother, the doctor, for treatment.  While Matt & Martha were busy making calf eyes at each other, Dr. Franz discovered the love of his life. And pretty Rebekah Snow Redman turned out to be a fireball in spite of her fragile appearance.

 

 

A RIVER’S BEND DUO
Wanted: The Sheriff

Martha Bittner may be considered a spinster at twenty-seven, but she’s not planning to stay that way. For four years, she’s wanted the sheriff of River’s Bend, Missouri, to notice her as more than a friend and a really good cook. With the first annual spring dance only weeks away, Martha decides to announce her intentions — and declares the sheriff a wanted man.

Sheriff Matthew Tate always thought he was better off a bachelor. Growing up in Boston society, where marriage is a business transaction and wealth his greatest asset, he’s learned to distrust all women’s intentions. None of them even catch his eye anymore — until pretty Martha Bittner tells him exactly what she wants… and he wonders why he ever resisted capture.

No Less Than Forever

Doctor Franz Bittner is satisfied with his life as it is. He has a good practice in a place where he is respected, in spite of his German birth. He has good friends and enough income to provide him with a few comforts. A wife would only complicate things. Then a tiny blond stranger is pulled from the river and everything changes. With one smile she captures his attention—and steals his heart.

Rebekah Snow Redmann barely survived her abusive husband’s attack. Though she was given to him to pay her father’s debts, she’d rather die than go back. Then she ends up in the care of the handsome local doctor and he stitches up more than her wounds—he mends her soul. With him, she discovers everything that she believes she can never have…a love that will last forever.

Tracy Garrett
www.TracyGarrett.com

Tracy Garrett
History, Texas, cowboys, horses—these are a few of Tracy’s favorite things. Check out her westerns at www.TracyGarrett.com.

Mona Hodgson Has a Winner!

The Convenient BrideThank you Miss Mona! Now we know the truth about wagon trains and such. Sure was interesting.

Winner of the print copy of THE CONVENIENT BRIDE COLLECTION is….

SUSAN JOHNSON

Yippee! I’m dancin’ up a storm for you, Susan. Someone will contact you right away.

Felicia Filly
When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.

Welcome Guest – Mona Hodgson!!!

Convenient Bride BannerKeeper of My Heart Wagon Train Trivia

Just about any Western movie or TV show captured my attention, pulling me into the adventure and possibilities. Shows like Wagon Train led to my fascination with wagon train travel, which inspired Prairie Song and Keeper of My Heart.

While researching wagon train history, I found some fun tidbits.

Ready for a wagon train trivia quiz?

  1.  Horses were the preferred animal for pulling a covered wagon across the prairie. True or false?

False. While some folks did have horses pull their covered wagon, more chose burros or mules for the job. Most pioneers, however, yoked four or more oxen steer to their wagons because of the superior strength and stamina that allowed the oxen to pull the 2500 pounds or more. Besides, horses are more skittish and easily spooked. Which animal would you prefer to trust to ford a stream or descend a mountain with all of your earthly possessions?The Convenient Bride Collection--Lrg

  1.  TV shows and movies correctly depicted covered wagon overlanders riding on the wagon seat.

False. That was something that seldom happened. Would you want to sit on a narrow, hardwood seat suspended between side rails with no springs? Most trail conveyances were simple farm wagons with no thought given to comfort. The wagon beds rode on steel tires mounted on wooden wheels, on solid wood axles, for fifteen or so miles on a rutted road. That’d be quite the bone rattling ride. I’d rather walk, thank you.

Most healthy travelers walked alongside the team of oxen or took shifts riding a horse.

  1. Need some butter for the biscuits you plan to cook over the supper campfire? Just hang the milk on the wagon.

True. Milk the cow first thing in the morning then, before you set out for the day, secure the crock of milk to a hook on the side of the wagon. All the jostling over rocks and through ruts will churn the butter for you.

  1.  The TV screen and paintings of the period got it right when they showed wagons circled for defense against hostile Indians.   

False. The wagon companies didn’t typically circle their wagons. When they did, it was usually to corral the livestock. Most wagon train roads led through safe territory, and hostilities were rare. But if a caravan of wagons was attacked, they didn’t have time to find an area big enough to arrange the wagons.

  1.   Wagons were covered, which made them into a 19th century recreational vehicle.Wagon with women and children

False. Ready to curl up for a night of sweet dreams in the covered wagon? We’re talking about an eleven foot long by four foot wide, ten foot tall space crammed full of barrels, casks, trunks, and miscellaneous household items. Things the pioneers would need for the journey as well as items and heirlooms packed for their new home.

Most overlanders slept outdoors, on the ground, with or without a tent overhead, or in a hammock suspended between trees or between a tree and the wagon. Exceptions to that rule included travelers who were sick and sometimes children. Excessive rain might have warranted taking shelter inside of the wagon, but it would’ve been an uncomfortable night.

Woman ShootistReading Prairie Song and Keeper of My Heart, you’ll discover that I busted many of the perpetuated myths in my telling of two 1866 wagon train stories.

Neelie “Shott”, the heroine in Keeper of My Heart, is headed for San Francisco, where she’s been promised a job in a Wild West Show. When Neelie set out on the road going West, she thought she knew where she was going. That was before she encountered The Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company and the widowed, spine-stiffening wheelwright named Ian Kamden.

Nor had she met his five children. As it turns out, Maisie, the youngest, is fond of picking black-eyed Susans and awarding the bouquets to those she loves.

I can’t wait for you to meet Neelie, Ian, and the others on their quest for a fresh beginning in Keeper of My Heart, one of nine novellas in The Convenient Bride Collection.

Thanks so much to the Petticoats & Pistols fillies for the invitation to come by and many thanks to you for joining me here. I hope you’ll stop by and chat with me. Do you have a favorite wagon train novel, nonfiction, or movie?

I’m excited to give away a copy of The Convenient Bride Collection, which includes Neelie’s story in Keeper of My Heart. I’d love to hear from everyone, but can only mail the book to a USA address.

 

Please find me online and join the conversation: Mona Hodgson chin on hands

Website

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Blog

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Mona Hodgson is the author of 40 books, historical novels and novellas for adults and children’s books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart novellas, and Prairie Song. Her children’s books include Bedtime in the Southwest, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional, six Zonderkidz I Can Read books, and more.

Rainmaker, Rainmaker Make Us Some Rain…

MargaretBrownley-headerThe success of a rain dance has a lot to do with timing

 

As you may have heard California is going through a terrible drought. Most of my neighbors have either let their lawns die or replaced them with artificial turf. Others have simply come up with a way of stealing water. Yep, that’s right; we now have water thieves to contend with.

grassMy husband came up with yet another solution; he simply painted our grass green (see before and after photo). Yep, there’s actually grass paint that you can spray on and it works!

Watching all this craziness around me made me wonder about droughts in the past. I’m pretty sure they didn’t have grass paint back in the 1800s.

For many years people believed that cloudbursts were caused by noise. Plutarch was the first to note that a rainstorm followed every great battle. He thought it was nature’s way of purifying the ground after bloodshed.

He wasn’t the only one who believed in the “concussion theory of rainmaking;” Napoleon was among the many military leaders convinced that artillery fire caused rain. After losing the battle of Waterloo due to the muddy battleground, he came up with the strategy of firing weapons in the air in hopes that a deluge would disable the enemy.

Amazingly, more than 150 major civil war battles were followed by rainstorms. Witnessing the rain that fell after the battle of Bull Run, J.C. Lewis blamed it on the “discharge of heavy artillery.”

Not everybody agreed that rain was generated by blasts. Meteorologist James Pollard Espy, known as thecannon Storm King, insisted it wasn’t the noise, but rather the heat of battle that opened the clouds. To prove his theory he asked that he be allowed to set a 600 mile stretch of land on fire. Congress turned down his request.

Heat or noise, no one really knew for sure. Brigadier General Robert Dyrenforth decided to settle the matter once and for all by conducting a series of rain-making experiments in Texas. He used artillery and balloon-carrying explosives. Instead of rain, he set a series of prairie fires and was given the name Dry-Henchforth.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the west was going through another drought and water wars raged. It was the perfect environment for a former sewing machine salesman by the name of Charles Hatfield aka Robin Hood of the Clouds.

hat

      Hatfield’s Rain Tower

Offering his services to farmers he built high towers and released a chemical concoction he created. Because of clever timing he had some initial success, which is why the city of San Diego hired him. In 1916 he climbed his newly built tower and tossed his chemicals into the air.

Lo and behold, the sky opened up dumping thirty-five inches of rain on the city and causing a tremendous amount of damage. The city wanted Hatfield to take responsibility for what was called the Hatfield flood, but he refused, claiming it was an act of God. When the city failed to pay him his $10,000, he sued, but after twenty-two years the case was finally thrown out of court.

Scientists are still trying to figure out how to summon rain and so far their efforts have met with little success. Maybe it’s time to bring out the cannons.

So which rain theory makes the most sense to you?

Noise or heat?

 

                      

                              What Readers are Saying About Undercover Bride

undercovertiny

“5 Stars!”

“A truly entertaining must read”

“A thrilling escapade”

“A creative plot and delightful characters”

“Good clean fun western romance”

“Thumbs up for mystery western”

“Wild west guns and grins”

“Fantastic”

Amazon

                                                  B&N

 

Margaret Brownley on twitterMargaret Brownley on facebook
Margaret Brownley
Margaret has published more than 40 books and is a N.Y. Times Bestselling author and past Romance Writers of America Rita Finalist. She writes historical novels set--where else?--in the Old West! Look for her new books Undercover Bride and Prairie Summer Brides (a Walmart special). Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

We Have a Winner for Karen Kay’s Tradepaper Copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF

bannerHowdy!

Yes, we do have a winner.  I do write down each person’s name and put it in a jar or bowl or hat and do a drawing, so that the chances are equal to one and all.

The winner of today’s book is Whitney.  Whitney, please email me privately at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net.  Insert a (.) for (dot) and an@ for (at).

My thanks to all your kind, kind comments on the book and on the blog.  I really enjoyed our talk yesterday.  Please come back in two weeks because I’ll once again be giving away a free copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF.

Karen Kay
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the author of 17 American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great-great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.

Mona Hodgson Comes To Visit!

The Convenient BrideMiss Mona Hodgson has saddled up and will arrive on Friday, July 31!

She has in mind to talk about wagon trains–some of the truths and myths.

Miss Mona is also toting a print book to give away!

Come Friday, don’t lollygag around.

Get over and join the fun.

 

 

Felicia Filly
When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.

Keeping Your Money Safe in the Old West

letterhead-header 219th century bank tellerIn my current work in progress, I have a heroine who established a women’s colony in 19th century Texas. Harper’s Station – a place where women can make a fresh start because women–not men–make the rules. Some have come to escape abuse, some have come because they had nowhere else to turn for financial support, some simply came to ply a trade not normally accepted for females. At the center is my heroine, Emma Chandler. Raised by suffragette aunts, she believes women fully capable of managing their own affairs. In fact, she banks on that belief–literally. You see, Emma runs the town bank, and it is her loans and savvy business sense that allow so many women the fresh starts they dearly need.

As I was researching 19th century banking, I ran across some fascinating information about how they keep their money safe. Harper’s Station is eventually threatened by outlaws, and I needed to ensure that Emma and her female clientele  would be protected.

Until the mid-1800s, most United States banks utilized small iron safes fitted with a key lock. After the Gold Rush of 1849, however, many frustrated prospectors decided there was an easier way to get the gold they craved–rob a bank! Using tools they were accustomed to, they broke into the buildings with pickaxe and hammer. The safes they encountered were small enough that they could simply take them and break them open in a more secluded location.

SafeTo make it harder on thieves to carry off the safes, companies started making them larger and heavier. However, the safe itself was still vulnerable through the keyhole. All a bank robber had to do was poor gunpowder in the hole and set it off in order to blast off the door.

In 1861, Linus Yale, Jr. invented the combination lock. Bankers rejoiced. Surely this would be theft-proof. Yet, as well all know, criminals can be a decisively creative lot. Eventually, they learned ways to manipulate the lock. For example, they could drill a hole in the door then use a mirror to view the slots in the mechanism. Or – they could simply hold the bank manager at gunpoint and force him to reveal the combination.

In the 1870’s banks moved to safes that incorporated a new design that not only featured a combination lock, but a timer mechanism as well. The safe could only be opened after a set number of hours had passed. So even if the bank manager gave up the combination, the code wouldn’t work unless the timer had expired. (Wonder how many bank employees got shot by disgruntled bank robbers over that new feature?) This meant the thieves had to find new ways to get inside the safe itself. Some figured out how to use a chisel or other sharp tool to pry open the crack between the door and the safe. If they got it open just enough, they could use the gunpowder method to blow off the door.

Vault makers responded by making grooved doors that could not be pried open. But the grooves provided an ideal catch for liquid nitroglycerin. Professional bank robbers learned to boil dynamite in a kettle of water and skim the nitroglycerin off the top. They could drip this volatile liquid into the door grooves and destroy the door. Vault makers subsequently redesigned their doors so they closed with a thick, smooth, tapered plug. The plug fit so tightly that there was no room for the nitroglycerin. This was the design Emma Chandler employed.

Of course, thieves kept pushing the envelope and security companies had to keep stepping up their game. This back and forth still drives the business today.Piggy Bank

 

If you lived back in the 19th century – before the federal government insured funds held by banks – would you have felt safe depositing your money there? Or would you have been more likely to stash it in the cookie jar or under your mattress?

Karen Witemeyer
Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, and two-time RITA finalist, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance for Bethany House believing the world needs more happily ever afters ... and hunky cowboy heroes. She's an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

The Scout, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF and free give-away

bannerHowdy!  And Welcome to another Tuesday Blog!

Before I go into the most interesting part of the blog and tell you some more about the awesome abilities of the American Indian scouts of old, I wanted to say again that I’ll be giving away a Trade Paper copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF to some lucky blogger.  This is valued at $15.00.  Just leave a comment and you are automatically entered into the drawing for the book (void where prohibited).

Let me mention again that my schedule is intense and I rarely have a moment to myself most days…and so I rely on you to come to the blog tomorrow (Wednesday — usually at night) to see if you have won.  Sometimes I pick a winner and post it, and never hear from them, and that saddens me because it is a rare occasion when I can find the time to go and look that person up.  So please, please be sure to check back tomorrow — it should be posted by evening — and see if you are the winner, okay?  All you have to do is drop me an email and we’ll figure out how to get a book to you, if you are the winner.  And yes it is true that I am giving away a $15.00 value copy of the book THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF.  So do come in and leave a message.

apachescout4THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, which is just out in Tradepaper format, is a book about a hero who is among other things, a scout.  In researching this profession, I ran across some extremely interesting abilities that these men of old had.  And in my last post I had promised  to cover in more detail how a scout could tell from a mere trail the thoughts, health, etc. of the man/woman/animal who had left that trail.  This information, some of which I’ll quote, comes from the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr., a man, who as a young boy was taken under the wing of an old Apache scout, and who was trained by that man as a scout.  Grandfather is what Mr. Brown called this old Apache scout.  So this passage is from this book.

“(Grandfather) defined the tracking that we had done as typical or novice tracking, but the tracking of the scout was defined as master tracking.  Even at the onset, the difference became obvious.  Grandfather told us that the earth was like an open book, filled with stories.  These stories were written not only in the softest ground but also on every other type of soil even on rock…”

arikarascoutMr. Brown goes on to say, “To this day, the greatest tracking thrill of my life was when Grandfather first showed me how to read track “compressions” in impossible soils and on solid rock…”

And here is where one really begins to learn about the old American Indian Scouts (which, let me repeat here — those scouts who worked for the United States army were not the scouts of old).  Anyway, again, another quote from THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, “You must stop looking at the tracks as lifeless depressions in the ground. Instead, and you have noticed inside of the track is a tiny landscape.  There are hills, valleys, peaks, ridges, domes, pocks, and countless other little features.  These features the scouts developed into a science, that which they call the ‘pressure releases.’  It is through these pressure releases that the scout can know everything about the animal or man that he is tracking.  The scouts of my clan could identify and define over four thousand of these pressure releases, and I know of no peoples of the earth that have been able to do the same.”

curlycrowscoutMr. Brown goes on to explain in his book how these pressure releases can be read and identified, and he goes on to say that because man or animals are stabilized by their feet on the ground, they are always in motion and always having to keep balance — even to the tiniest of moves.  It’s because of this constant need to keep balance and shift that produces the “pressure releases.”

IndianScouts2Mr. Brown goes on to say that he and his friend, Rick, who was learning about tracking also, would start to identify their own moods and look at the pressure releases and note the difference between that mood and some other emotion — and study their own tracks — he says that everyone became a source of study.

He even goes on to say that “Grandfather taught us to expand our awareness and tracking beyond even that level.  He would stand beside a tree, point to a missing limb and ask, “How long ago was this done?  What did it and how?  What direction did the cutter come from?  Was his axe or saw dull or sharp, was he right- or left-handed, what degree of strength did he have?  Grandfather told us that we should always hold one question in our minds at all times:  What is this telling me?”

Charles EastmanIndian&boyscoutsBy the way, the picture to the left is a picture of a young Charles Eastman, a Sioux Indian, who became a lawyer for his people.  I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that it was Charles Eastman who established the Boy Scouts long, long ago.  Charles Eastman also wrote several books with the help of his wife, whom he met in collage.  She was white.  I believe some time ago, there was a television story concerning Charles Eastman and his wife, and I believe that Adam Beach played the part of Charles Eastman.  This was an interesting fact to learn for me, because I have never really known that the Boy Scouts came to us from the American Indian — I had never stopped to consider it until I read about it from either one of Charles Eastman’s books or another book.

adambeachascharleseastmanAt the left here is a picture of Adam Beach playing Charles Eastman.  : )

Well, that’s all for today.  Next blog I’d like to tell you a little about the water dance of the scout.  Did you know there was such a thing?  I can’t help but think sometimes that it is a shame that one culture coming in will often destroy the culture that is there already.  There is so much we could have learned from the American Indian of old.  I always look forward to these blogs so that I can tell you a little about what I’ve learned because I think it so vital to keep these things alive.

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftRemember THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is on sale here:  https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5090/the-spirit-of-the-wolf

Pick up your copy today.

 

Karen Kay
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the author of 17 American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great-great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.

Kathryn’s Winner!

Congratulations Jennifer T for winning the “luck of the draw” for commenting on my post! A free copy of Wild West Christmas will be heading your way! Hope you enjoy Dance With a Cowboy!  I will contact you today. If you don’t hear from me, please email me at kathryn at kathrynalbright dot com. I will need your mailing address!  Congrats!

KLA transparent

Kathryn Albright on twitterKathryn Albright on facebook
Kathryn Albright
From her first breath, Kathryn has had a passion for stories that celebrate the goodness in people. She combines her love of history and a good story to write novels of inspiration, endurance, and hope. Visit her at www.kathrynalbright.com, on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.
Petticoats & Pistols © 2015