Please give a big Petticoats and Pistols welcome to our
Friday guest author ~ Mary Sullivan!
Miss Mary hails from Toronto, Canada and today is giving away a
copy of her newest release, MONTANA RODEO STAR
to one lucky person who responds to her questions at the end of this post.
Petticoats and Pistols, thank you so much for having me here today!
I write about cowboys, ranchers, sheriffs, and small towns. Often, I have wondered why I’m fascinated with ranching and farming life when I have never lived that life. I grew up in a large city.
The source of this interest, I believe, was my parents who grew up in rural Newfoundland on the eastern edge of Canada. I grew up listening to my mother’s stories of her childhood, her experience light years from my own urban childhood. Her family lived a life of self-sufficiency ruled by ‘island’ mentality. She was a small child during the Great Depression. Anything they needed or that had to be done or fixed had to be handled on their own. They were hardy and resourceful.
Newfoundland’s nickname of The Rock is justified. It’s rugged, to say the least.
Despite this, the family grew all of their own vegetables—potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, cabbages, and onions—and stored them winter-long in root cellars. Even the children had their daily chores. They were not idle.
They fished for cod and laid it out to dry on ‘fish flakes’ set up on a hillside in the sun. They also salted the fish.
They owned cows and chickens.
Every spring, they bought a pig that they fattened throughout the summer for butchering, curing and preserving in the fall. My mother, a great animal lover, doted on the pig every summer and would steal buttermilk after the cows were milked to rub over the pig’s back to make it soft!
Then, one day in the autumn, her family would send her off to visit friends or family so she wouldn’t be around when they killed the animal she had nurtured for months. It saddened her immensely. I asked her once how she felt about all of this and whether she could bring herself to enjoy the bacon and ham the pig produced. Her pragmatic response was, “Of course. I had to eat.”
Winters were harsh, with frigid temperatures for months on end and deep snow nearly covering ground floor windows. Winter started early and ended late.
The buckets and buckets of wild blueberries my mother picked and sold every summer bought her a new pair of shoes for the start of another school year in September.
I don’t romanticize how difficult her life was, but even given such a bare-bones existence, my mother had a happy and healthy childhood with loving parents. She had a wicked sense of humor, loved to play pranks and was adored by her one older and six younger siblings.
My brothers and sisters and I love to visit. The island and my extended family there hold captive a huge portion of my heart. Here’s a photo of me with my sisters wearing our tourist t-shirts during a recent visit!
I imagine large ranches as being much like islands, with life lived so close to the land and the harsh reality of nature and death a hairs-breadth away. I imagine self-sufficiency and pragmatism. I imagine tough, hard-working people.
My latest book, HOME ON THE RANCH: MONTANA RODEO STAR is the final, sixth book of my Rodeo, Montana, series. I have loved writing about the six women who labored to keep their small town afloat by reviving the local fair and rodeo.
Cocky but likable Dusty Lincoln meets his match in stubborn Maxine Porter.
If ever two opposite should not attract, it is these two, but attract they do!
You can find it here: http://bit.ly/MontanaRodeoStar
I’m giving away a copy of MONTANA RODEO STAR to one of today’s blog visitors.
Please respond to the questions below for a chance to win.
Have you ever visited a ranch or wanted to?
Or did you grow up on one?
Or are you a die-hard city person?
Multi-published author, Mary Sullivan, finds fulfillment in writing heart-warming, small town romance.
Her first book, No Ordinary Cowboy, was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest.
Her books have since won awards and glowing reviews. For Mary, writing a book is very much like putting
together a jigsaw puzzle without the final image. She indulges her passion for puzzles—particularly getting
her daily cryptic crossword fix and putting together real jigsaw puzzles without the box—in her hometown
Mary’s Website: MarySullivanBooks.com
Follow Mary on Facebook at Facebook.com/MarySullivanAuthor