Is this really only a hundred and twenty-five years???? We’ve come a long way, baby!
The whole idea of puffy dresses and prairie life became a GREAT part of my intro to “Second Chance Christmas“, the second novella of “The Sewing Sisters’ Society” collection, and part of the overall Prairie Brides series…
When we look back and see how for millennia women wore dresses… That it would have been considered out-of-this-world in-your-face to dress down…
Even into the 20th century…
Suffragists didn’t just fight for our long-awaited right to vote. They set a bar for an equality that we can never take lightly… but not at the expense of our respect, right?
I love getting dressed up. I love pretty dresses. But the other side of me is so totally down with blue-jean-casual… when I’m writing a story or running a power saw or cleaning a donkey pen or painting a house or room… or making jam to sell at our roadside stand.
So tell me, what’s your fashion fave and why? Is it how it makes you feel? Or how you like to be seen by others? Or would you just love to go back, back, back and dress in those ladylike fashions once more?
No right or wrong answers here, and there’s a Kindle copy of my new full-length historical
Cadence is Book 13 of The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. The series is winding down. Only three more to go. Are we getting eager to see whether Mortimer Crane gets his comeuppance? You bet. You can get a taste of this in Cadence.
A foolish mistake left Cadence Biggler and her little sister, Regina, at the mercy of strangers in a strange town—until Mortimer Crane stepped in, paid her bills and offered her a job as a maid at his Gentlemen Only Salon in Wildcat Ridge, Utah Territory. Soon, she realizes Crane wants more from her than her labor. More than she’s willing to give.
Since the salon is no place for a child, he takes Regina to stay with a family, then refuses to tell Cady where the little girl is.
Garrick Brant became a traveling photographer to make a living and search for his missing sister, July. He’s drawn to Cady the first time he sees her, but Mortimer Crane orders his thugs to keep him away from her. How can Garrick and Cady’s romance develop under such restrictions? Can Garrick help Cady find Regina and free her from Crane’s clutches? Can Cady help him find his sister, July?
One thing is certain, they’ll have to fight Mortimer Crane every inch of the way.
Here is an excerpt:
For a long time, Cady petted the cat and let her thoughts ramble. Nothing was going right. Would she ever see Regina again? The thought was a sword in her side, like Garrick’s bullet wound.
Would he recover fully? Would he forgive her?
Thoughts whirled through her mind like a dervish keeping her from achieving a deep sleep.
As she dozed, she heard the door open. Her breath caught. “Garrick?”
Rooster stirred beside her and growled. She swallowed. Maybe it wasn’t Garrick. He should be in bed. He wasn’t well enough yet to be up wandering around.
“Please answer me, Garrick. Is that you?”
Maybe she was wrong, but who else could it be and why wouldn’t they answer?
She sat up and fumbled for matches to light the lamp. “Whoever you are, I heard the door open. Don’t play games with me, plea—”
A sudden weight knocked her back onto the bed, crushing her into the feather mattress.
Cady laughed. “Goodness, you don’t need to be so rough.”
The only answer she received was strong hands encircling her neck.
“What are you doing? That hurts.”
All doubts fled. This wasn’t Garrick. No matter how angry he might be with her, he wouldn’t hurt her.
The hands squeezed harder, and she gasped for air. The scents of body odor, dirt and whiskey filled her nostrils. Whoever lay atop her was shorter than Garrick but weighed more.
No, he wasn’t this thick around the waist.
She shoved at him fruitlessly. Her screams came out as muffled groans.
He meant to kill her.
Air. She needed air.
Cady clawed at the hands choking her. Clawed at his face.
Rooster’s snarling and hissing came to her, sounding close.
With an exclamation of pain, the man jerked, cussed, released Cady and swung backward. Rooster cried out.
Cady attempted to roll away, but the man’s weight returned to pin her in place. She tried to buck him off, tried to jab him in the eyes. He cursed and squeezed harder.
The room swirled around her. Her fingers went numb and lost the ability to grip, while her own will to fight faded.
Her lungs screamed for air but could find none.
“Die, you damned she-dog,” a rough voice growled in her ear. “Die.”
Charlene Raddon has been writing for nearly 40 years. Originally published by Kensington Books, she is now an Indie Author. Her first book was a Golden Heart Finalist. She also received a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award Nomination, Romantic Times Pioneer Award and won or placed in several contests. Besides writing, she also designs book covers, specializing in western historical.
Did you know that I have often referred to the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, as my “musical?” No, not like a musical you might see on television or the movies — if you open up the book, it doesn’t play a song, and yet, in many ways, I’ve often thought of it as my musical. Interestingly, it is also based on a myth.
SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, from the Legendary Warriors Series, is inspired by a myth of a hunter and a daughter of the Star People. The book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE actually starts with the hero and heroine and the legend as it is told in Native American lore. Interestingly, I found this myth not in just one tribe — but several — and the thing is, it was told almost (but not quite) identically, tribe to tribe. The legend I’m about to tell you is from the Shawnee.
I believe that the name of the hero (it’s from a children’s book that I’m quoting) is Red Hawk, and the name of the book is RED HAWK AND THE SKY SISTERS by Gloria Dominic and Charles Reasoner. Again, this legend is repeated in several different tribes — although the hero’s name is often different.
Red Hawk is a great hunter. But he is puzzled because he sees the same print of a circle in the grasses of the prairie each time he goes to hunt. It is a perfect circle, but there are no paths leading up to it — or going away from it. There is evidence that something was there and made the circle — but how? Red Hawk decides to spend the night, hiding himself from view.
And so he does. He discovers by hiding himself, that a basket gently falls to the earth and that there is singing from feminine voices. As the basket comes to land softly on the earth, three sisters alight from the basket and dance around it in a circle. Red Hawk watches this for many nights until one night he realizes that he has fallen in love with one of the sisters — the youngest I believe. And so, once again hiding himself, he waits until the sisters are about to get into the basket and go back into the sky — but suddenly he jumps out from his hiding place and captures the woman of his heart.
They marry and are happy, but she misses her home in the sky (she is a star). They have a child and she wishes to take the child and return to visit her home in the sky. Our hero lets her go, but keeps the child with him, hoping that the child will be enough to cause her to return. When she doesn’t return, our hero again captures her, and she falls in love with him all over again and they live happily ever after.
I did find that the ending varies a bit from tribe to tribe, and I’m uncertain of how this book ends the story — I have this book, but of course, needing to find it for this post, the book eludes me.
Now, what does this have to do with music and with a song? Well, maybe a lot. This book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, starts out with a song and the legend, and it ends with a song, incorporating, also, the legend.
In my youth, I used to watch Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald movies on television. I was enchanted with them, and with their music, which is operetta. Not full opera, but a light taste of it. My characters, I must admit, are drawn from both Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy’s personalities. Sometime in the future I might do a blog on these two people. They were in love, but never married, and it appears as if they were prevented from marrying. Perhaps that’s only a theory, but there appears to be some truth to it.
But that aside, I thought I’d leave you all a link to some great Native American music. The group is Brule’. This is a band of the Sioux tribe. It is extremely inspiring music, and so I’d leave you this for today. Please enjoy.
I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE today to some lucky blogger, so I would encourage you to leave a comment — please see the Giveaway Guidelines over to the right here for our rules that govern giveaways, and be sure to come back in a few days to see if you are a winner.
What do you think? Is it possible to create a musical with text?
It’s a Bonus Ruthy Day here in Filly-land and there’s a reason why… because Ruthy’s been doing her history research and she wants to give away another Kindle version of EITHER…. “The Sewing Sisters’ Society”
Her newest release, just six days out… “A Most Inconvenient Love”... and with the help of Pam the Amazing Filly I figured out what I was doing wrong with the links and they’re here now! OH MY STARS, I am so depressingly normal! 🙂
We want you to talk about us. About our work. About our stories! And that doesn’t mean you’re going to love everything an author does, but we love your sweet reviews, we love your shares, we love your moments when you say to a group of friends… “Oh my gosh, I just read the best book!!!!”
And then share the title or the book or the site….
All of this means a lot to us in an industry-wide market! You mean a lot to us!
So today is READER APPRECIATION DAY and I’d love to hear about how you exchange books or share books or ideas… and if you’re a writer, feel free to jump in and talk about your inspirations. We love hearing all of it!
My inspiration for this series was like a trifecta of love for courage, for pioneers, and for faith…. and a healthy dose of wanting to see the best in things! TOTAL POLLYANNA SYNDROME!
So here’s your chance, give us a holler below and let’s talk books… and westerns…. and history.
Because this is my reality today:
Yes, that would be my back yard, darlings… so I’ve got a little time and I know how to use it. YEE HAW! 🙂
Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Back in January I started a series of articles about 10 amazing women who paved the way for females in various branches of law enforcement. If you missed the prior posts you can find them here:
This month I want to talk about Marie Connolly Owens, America’s First Female Police Officer.
Marie was born in Ottawa (then know as Bytown) in December of 1853, to parents who had immigrated from Ireland to escape the potato famine. Little is known about her family or growing up years, but at age 26 she married Thomas Owens and the couple moved to Chicago. There they settled in and over the subsequent years their family expanded to include five children.
Then, in 1988, Marie’s husband died of typhoid fever. Suddenly, at age 35, Marie found herself widowed, with five young children to care for, and no idea how to earn a living.
However, one year later, in 1889 the city of Chicago passed an ordinance that prohibited employing children under the age of 14 unless they were required to work due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’. Marie was one of five women the city hired to help enforce this new ordinance. Their role was that of sanitary inspectors and their job was to monitor conditions in stores, factories and tenements. It is said the city hired women for this job because it was thought they were uniquely qualified to deal with matters involving children.
Marie dove into this role with a particular energy and passion, not only pulling children from these illegal and possibly dangerous workplaces, but even going so far as to help then find alternative means to support their families. In fact, she employed such energy and zeal in carrying out her duties, combined with a depth of diplomacy and effective moderation, that she quickly won respect and recognition for her efforts.
Just two years later, in 1891, her exemplary performance landed her a promotion to a special police officer, known a “Sergeant No. 97”, complete with the salary, badge and rank and arrest authority that went along with that job. Because she was a member of the detective department, she was allowed to dress in “plain clothes” so there was no need to adapt the uniform to accommodate a female form.
In her new role, Marie was assigned to work with the Board of Education to enforce truancy, child labor and compulsory education laws.
But, though she worked in what was considered a man’s world, Marie Owens was not necessarily a feminist. She put it this way.
“I like to do police work. It gives me a chance to help women and children who need help. Of course I know little about the kind of work the men do. I never go out looking for robbers or highwaymen. That is left for the men.” She further stated “My work is just a woman’s work. In my sixteen years of experience I have come across more suffering than ever is seen by any man detective. Why, it has kept me poor giving in little amounts to those in want. I have yet the time to come across a hungry family that they were not given food.”
Captain O’Brien, her superior officer, was highly complementary of her work, stating on the record
“Give me men like she is a woman, and we will have the model detective bureau of the whole world.”
Then in 1895 Chicago passed new civil service rules that made it nearly impossible for additional women to join the police force. Because Marie had an exemplary record and was so very good at her job, she was allowed to stay on.
In 1914, another female police officer, Alice Stebbins Wells (who I’ll feature in a future post) did a series of tours across the country, making the case for the need to have more female police officers. That, coupled with the numerous newspaper articles written about her, instilled the growing perception that she, in fact, was the first female police officer in the country. Though Marie Owens was still on the police force at this time, there is no indication that she did anything to change this misconception.
Marie was 70 when she finally retired in 1923. She passed away four years later in New York where she had moved to live with one of her daughters. Inexplicably, her obituary had no mention of her groundbreaking service on the police force or other contributions to the city of Chicago. And when a historian confused her with a woman named Mary Owens and described her in his book as a patrolman’s widow, her accomplishments were virtually erased from history. For decades to follow, no one remembered her story.
Then in 2007 Charles Barrett, a former federal agent and historical researcher, stumbled on a mention of Owens as a patrolman’s widow and found some inconsistencies. Digging deeper, he began sorting out the truth of Marie Owens remarkable life and accomplishments.
“She knew about hardship and heartbreak,” Barrett said of Marie. “She was sympathetic to the people because she had walked in their shoes.”
So forgotten was her story, that her great-grandson had never heard anything about his great-grandmother before Charles Barrett’s research brought it back to light. When contacted by telephone, he remarked “All I knew was that my grandfather was from Chicago.”
Thanks to Charles Barrett, we now are able to remember and celebrate this remarkable woman.
There you have it, a very brief sketch of the trailblazing life of yet another ahead-of-her-times woman. What struck you most about her? If you’d already heard of her, did you learn anything new, or do you have more to add to her story?
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing for winner’s choice of any book from my back list.
Thank you to the Petticoat & Pistols Fillies for welcoming me to their home on the range.
Let’s talk about series books today. Do you prefer your favorite cowboy books to be part of a series? As you start the book, do you begin to imagine the secondary characters having stories of their own? Have you ever written to an author to ask for a secondary character to have their own book?
I admit my answer is YES to all of the above.
What types of series do you prefer?
A standalone series linked by location or family or an incident? These series books usually include secondary character continuity in each book. The association between books in these types of series can be very loose or tightly connected. However, this series can be read out of order.
Or, do you prefer a series that keeps you guessing and reading each book in the series, in order, until an overall series question or mystery is revealed at the very end?
How many books do you like to see in a series–three, five or many, many more? And what are your thoughts on prologues, epilogues, and novellas connected to the original series?
I like as many books in a series as I can get my hands on as long as it’s easy to keep track of the characters.
My newest release is the last in a four-book series. Though each is a stand-alone, meaning you don’t have to read the earlier books to follow along, they all take place on Big Heart Ranch.
Each book deals with a cowboy or cowgirl who must deal with the pain of a broken childhood. The series, set in Timber, Oklahoma, is based on a children’s ranch for orphaned, abused and neglected children owned and operated by the orphaned Maxwell siblings: Lucy, Travis & Emma.
FYI, Big Heart Ranch is modeled after a real ranch in Alabama. “BIG OAK RANCH – A Christian Home for Children Needing a Chance.” You can find out more about Big Oak Ranch here.
The final book is horse whisperer, Tripp Walker’s, story and probably the most emotional and tender of all the books in the series because it deals with a deeper level of pain and ultimate healing.
I have to admit that I’m sad that this is the last book, though I am enjoying reading the book myself as a reader instead of a writer. But I am suffering symptoms of a book hangover!
Have you ever had a book hangover as you come to the end of a special cowboy read?
A book hangover is a condition in which attachment to a book or series that has ended causes the reader traumatic emotional distress. It usually lasts for one to two weeks, or until a new book of higher-than-average quality enters the reader’s life.– Epic Reads
The inability to start a new book because you are still living in the old book’s world.– Urban Dictionary
The Last Cowboy Song
(Ed Bruce with Willie Nelson)
This the last cowboy song.
The end of a hundred year waltz.
The voices sound sad as they’re singin’ along.
Another piece of America’s lost.
He rides the feed lots, clerks in the markets,
On weekends sellin’ tobacco and beer.
And his dream’s of tomorrow, surrounded by fences,
But he’ll dream tonight of when fences weren’t here.
In honor of the last book in this series, I’ve picked up
To deal with book hangover, and celebrate the release of Her Last Chance Cowboy, I’ve got a few very therapeutic giveaways today for the readers of Petticoats & Pistols. Just leave a comment to my questions above to be entered.
Two readers will receive a copy of Her Last Chance Cowboy and a canister of Romance Recovery Tea from Riddles Book &Tea Company. (US only)
One reader will receive the entire Big Heart Ranch series and a canister of Romance Recovery Tea. (US Only)
One reader will receive an ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy (US or international)
Her Last Chance Cowboy
She came seeking family…
Will she find love at Big Heart Ranch?
When pregnant single mother Hannah Vincent shows up professing to be the half sister of the Maxwells of Big Heart Ranch, horse trainer Tripp Walker is wary. Wounded before, he doesn’t trust easily. If only Hannah and her feisty five-year-old daughter weren’t so impossible to resist. Now, despite his doubts, joining this little family is quickly becoming the cautious cowboy’s greatest wish.
A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a three-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, and a 2018 ACFW Mentor of the Year recipient. Her 11th book for Harlequin Love Inspired, Her Last Chance Cowboy, released in February 2019. In addition to novel-length fiction, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A former library cataloger, Tina is a frequent presenter on writing topics and an online instructor. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. Sign up for her author newsletter and her market newsletter at https://www.tinaradcliffe.com/
Estella! You’ve won a Kindle copy of Ruthy’s new historical Western “A Most Inconvenient Love”! Congratulations!!!! Email Ruthy at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll get that out to you! Thanks for coming by!