Category: Behind the Book

WHAT DO YOU PREFER? SHORT STORIES OR NOVELS? (AND A GIVEAWAY!) by CHERYL PIERSON

I had never thought of myself as a short story writer.  But if it hadn’t been for short stories, I never would have “broken in” to this business.  I’d always wanted to write longer projects, and in fact, had written a huge saga-type western novel that I still have hopes of someday revamping (and it will take a LOT of revamping) and getting out there. That was the true book of my heart that set me on this path.  But I had a lot to learn about writing.

After sending the query and first three chapters out to several agents, I did land one. But after a year of nothing happening, I couldn’t see anything changing. I was getting very depressed, to say the least.

A friend of mine found a call for submissions from Adams Media for their Rocking Chair Reader series.  This series was somewhat akin to the Chicken Soup For the Soul books, and my friend and I had already missed the deadline for the first of the series! But there was another anthology coming out as a follow up to the first one.  The second one was called, ROCKING CHAIR READER—MEMORIES FROM THE ATTIC.  These stories were true stories about something the writer had found years later that brought back memories of something that happened in childhood.  I had the perfect tale! I wrote it and submitted it, and thankfully, the editor liked it, as well. That led to several more publications with Adams Media through these anthologies, and then a few stories with Chicken Soup.

 

But these stories were all based in truth, and I wanted to write fiction.  Western romance fiction.  It was shortly after that when I sold my first book, FIRE EYES, to The Wild Rose Press, and then branched out into contemporary romantic suspense with SWEET DANGER.  While writing these novels, I had been approached by a couple of publishing companies asking for fictional short stories.  But did I really want to go back to short stories?  The answer was YES.

Writing those short stories in the beginning helped me realize that while I was adding to my portfolio of credits, I was also proving to myself that I could write compactly, in short story form.  Writing a short story is a totally different breed of cat than writing a novel. Making each word or scene count and not seeming to rush the story while doing it is something I will forever be working on, just to improve the telling of the story even more.

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in six words. This is what he wrote:  “Baby shoes for sale.  Never worn.”  If that doesn’t tell a story, I don’t know what does.

 

I’ve written many Christmas-themed short stories–most of them with a western historical holiday setting. A Night for Miracles, Homecoming, Meant to Be,  and The Gunfighter’s Girl are all included in my single author collection, A HERO FOR CHRISTMAS

One of my favorite Christmas short stories is Outlaw’s Kiss–because I love stories that give the hero his redemption!

 

I have two other single author anthologies of short stories. WINTER MAGIC is  a set of three stories about three brothers and how they meet the woman of their dreams–under less than ideal circumstances!

And DARK TRAIL RISING is a collection of western short stories, containing my Western Fictioneer Peacemaker nominated stories HIDDEN TRAILS and THE KEEPERS OF CAMELOT, as well as two other stories, SHOT FOR A DOG and THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS.

All of these stories are available at my Amazon page:

    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002JV8GUE/a /strong/em?tag=pettpist-20

Here’s a bit about some of these stories.

HOMECOMING:

A holiday skirmish sends Union officer, Jack Durham, on an unlikely mission for a dying Confederate soldier—his enemy. As he nears his destination, the memories of the soldier’s final moments mingle with his own thoughts of the losses he’s suffered because of the War, including his fiance, Sarah. Will the miracle of Christmas be able to heal his heart in the face of what awaits him?

THE GUNFIGHTER’S GIRL:

Miguel Rivera is known as El Diablo, The Devil. Men avoid meeting his eyes for fear of his gun. Upon returning to a town where he once knew a brief happiness, Miguel is persuaded by a street vendor to make a foolish holiday purchase; two scarlet ribbons.

When Catalina, his former lover, allows him to take a room at her boarding house, Miguel soon discovers a secret. Realizing that he needs the scarlet ribbons after all, he is stunned to find them missing.

Can a meeting with a mysterious priest and the miracle of the scarlet ribbons set Miguel on a new path?

THESE ROUGH DREAMS:

When Southern socialite Gabrielle Mason discovers she’s pregnant, she takes her future into her own hands. She has her family name to consider, and a husband is what she needs. She answers an ad for a mail-order bride in Indian Territory. But the man who proposes isn’t the man she ends up marrying.

Johnny Rainbolt is not a family man by any stretch of the imagination…but Fate is about to give him no choice. His late sister’s three children will be arriving on the next stage, and he has no idea what to do with them. When cultured Gabby Mason is left waiting for her prospective groom at the stage station, Johnny sees a way to solve everyone’s problems.

Some dreams get off to a rough start. A mail-order marriage is only the beginning. When one of the children is stolen, Johnny and Gabby are forced to depend on one another in an unimaginable circumstance that could turn tragic… or show them what might become of THESE ROUGH DREAMS. ** SENSUAL

OUTLAW’S KISS:

Talia Delano has been humiliated before the entire town of Rock Creek by Jake Morgan. A known gunman, Jake has bid an outrageous sum for Talia’s “boxed supper”, a kiss, and the gift of her time for the rest of the Independence Day celebration. But, as always, Jake changes the rules and takes more than he should—especially with the whole town watching. Talia’s chance of happiness is dashed, along with her reputation, when Jake leaves Rock Creek suddenly.

When he shows up five months later at her farmhouse, wounded, and in the midst of a blinding snowstorm, she can’t turn him away—even though she knows being alone with him will cause tongues to wag once more. But with Christmas only two days away, how can she harden her heart against the handsome outlaw who has no place else to go—even if he is being trailed by someone just as dangerous? Magic and danger are woven together in the OUTLAW’S KISS.

WINTER MAGIC:

The Diamond brothers are cast out into the world by a crooked business deal at a young age. They’ve lost everything—including their father. Although they are forced to make their own way, brotherly bonds remain unbreakable: It’s all for one and one for all.

HEARTS AND DIAMONDS—Revenge sets hired gun Nick Diamond after a bride, and nothing will stand in his way. But when that bride happens to be outspoken firebrand Liberty Blankenship, all bets are off. Anything can happen when HEARTS AND DIAMONDS collide!

SPELLBOUND—Safecracker Brett Diamond and witch Angie Colton take on a border gang leader who is pure evil. Can Angie’s supernatural powers save them? No matter what, Brett and Angie are hopelessly SPELLBOUND.

LUCK OF THE DRAW—Handsome gambler Jake Diamond and beautiful fledgling sorceress Lainie Barrett make a last-ditch effort to reunite Lainie and her mother for Christmas. Along the way, Jake and Lainie realize there’s no escape from the powerful attraction they feel toward one another. But do they know each other well enough to become a family when they rescue an abandoned infant? With their own particular talents, they discover life is one big poker table—and love can be had if they are willing to risk it all!

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE DRAWING OF A DIGITAL COPY OF OUTLAW’S KISS OR THESE ROUGH DREAMS! I WILL PICK TWO WINNERS AFTER 8:00 P.M. THIS EVENING.

Jodi Thomas Ransom Canyon Giveaway #6

Jodi’s back for another Ransom Canyon Giveaway. YeeHaw!!!

Indigo Lake

It was a dark and stormy night…

I’ve always wanted to write that line. I  think all writers do. So I decided to give it a try in Indigo Lake, a book about a hundred-year-old feud between two families. And, of course, my hero is from one and my heroine is from the other.

You will love reading this story which pulls out the richness of legends and superstitions among the early families who settled West Texas.

  • If you started a story with It was a dark and stormy night… what would your second sentence be?

To enter for a chance to win a copy of the sixth book in the Ransom Canyon series, leave a comment below. Winner will be selected on Monday, July 17.

BONUS: The novella, Winter’s Camp, is included in the back of Indigo Lake!

Welcome Guest – Hebby Roman!!!

 

Charro Horses

First, I would like to thank Petticoats and Pistols, for being kind enough to host our bestselling contemporary western romance boxed set, A Cowboy to Keep.

My latest release, Border Romance is one of seven stories in the set, and it’s the third book of my On the Border Series. These books take place on the Texas-Mexican border and feature a ranch that trains horses for the Mexican specialty of charro riding, as well as rodeo events such as barrel racing and calf roping, and cutting horses, too. Since charro riding is not widely understood in the United States, I wanted to explain how these specialty horses perform.

Charro riding is an event in a charreada or charrería, which is a competitive event similar to our rodeos and was developed from animal husbandry practices used on the haciendas of old México. The sport has been described as “living history,” or as an art form drawn from the demands of working life. Evolving from the traditions brought from Spain in the 16th century, the first charreadas were ranch work competitions between haciendas. The modern Charreada developed after the Mexican Revolution when charro traditions were disappearing. The charreada consists of nine events for men plus one for women, all of which involve horses, cattle or both.

The participants in the charreada wear traditional charro clothing, including a closely fitted suit, chaps, boots, and a wide brim sombrero. The body-fitting suit of the charro, while decorative, is also practical; it fits closely to insure there is no flapping cloth to be caught by the horns of steers. The botinas, or little boots, prevent feet from slipping through the stirrups. Spurs are worn on the botinas.

The saddle of the charro has a wider horn than that of that of a western saddle, which helps safeguard the charro from being pitched off and from being hung up. There are two grips at the back of the saddle, in case the charro needs to have a handhold during certain trick maneuvers.

In a charreada, the most common competition is called cala de caballo or reining. Literally the demonstration of the horse rein, as the horse is required to show its talents in the canter, gallop, slide stop, spins on its hind legs as well as backing. It is one of the hardest events to master and also the most elaborately scored. The running slide, left and right spinning, rear leg pivoting, and backing abilities are tested. The charro rider and horse are evaluated carefully. Horses are judged for vigor, manageability, docility, gait and obedience. Carriage of head and tail are all critically evaluated and scored accordingly.

Charro horses also perform tricks, very similar to those of the famous Lippazzaner stallions in Austria. Trick riding such as rearing on signal, backing up on the horse’s two back feet, and spinning, have given these horses the moniker of “dancing horses.” In addition, they can be trained to prance in time to music, making them appear to dance with the strains of popular Mexican ballads.

They often are the lead feature in Texas-México border parades and rodeos. Charro horses are also used to showcase a charro rider’s elaborate rope tricks while calmly cantering around an

arena. And of course, if you’re a horse lover, all charro horses are selected for their beautiful conformation and flowing manes and tails.

For you western lovers, I hope you have enjoyed this explanation of a fascinating sport, featuring beautiful and very talented horses. And I hope you will read more about charro horses in my story, “Border Romance.” You can find more about my books at my website  or my Facebook page.  For beautiful pictures of charro horses, visit my “A Cowboy To Keep” Board on Pinterest.

 

Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …

Don’t miss this great collection from USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-Winning authors!! Available here.

THE LEGEND OF BAD MOON RISING by Carra Copelin

Sheriff Ben Hammond is finally over the woman who shattered his heart, but when Dinah Horne suddenly returns, can he ignore the passion still burning bright between them?

CITY BOY, COUNTRY HEART by Andrea Downing

Trading horses for subways for two years seemed like a good idea to cowboy Chay Ridgway, but can city girl K.C. Daniels keep a rein on his country heart?

BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey

Archaeologist Audrey Driggs rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney. Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.

THE DRIFTER’S KISS by Devon McKay

Determined to take back what belongs to her, Addison Reed will do anything. Even trust a complete stranger.

HER MAN by Hildie McQueen

Deputy Mark Hunter falls for Eliza Brock during a murder investigation. Is it fate or bad luck, especially when she may be involved?

BORDER ROMANCE by Hebby Roman

Widow Leticia Villarreal wants to establish a horse-racing stable and old acquaintance John Clay Laidlaw offers to help. But can she trust him with her business and her heart?

PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews

After losing her fiancé and her New York City business, Harper Donovan returns to Arizona and meets cowboy Frank Flynn. Will his past and their differences extinguish the heat between them?

Thanks, western readers for stopping by and chatting with me today on Petticoats and Pistols. Charro horses are mostly an unknown quantity for most rodeo goers, unless you’re in the Southwestern part of the United States, close to the Mexican border. These are beautiful and very talented horses that I wanted to highlight for readers.

If you leave a comment, you will be included in the drawing for my Giveaway today: a $25 Amazon Gift Card. So, please, fire away with those comments or questions!

 

WAR CLOUD’S PASSION/Goldie Locks & the Three Bears

Howdy!

And welcome to another beautiful Tuesday.  I say beautiful because where I am, we have  powder blue sky and some fluffy clouds — a gorgeous day.  Oh, by the way, the give-away book today is the mass market version (print copy) of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION.

Okay, okay.  You might be wondering what a serious book (and this book encompasses a rather serious topic) — and Goldie Locks & the Three Bears might have in common?  Well, I’ll attempt to answer that in this blog.

Don’t know if I’ve ever told this story in detail — it’s kinda the “story behind the story,” but…only kinda.  Off to the right here is the Kindle version of War Cloud’s Passion.  It is the newest book up on KindleUnlimited if you are a member of KU.

It’s not often that I read my own books.  I don’t like to, mostly because I’m so critical of my own work.  But because my husband and I had just uploaded this book to KindleUnlimited, I read a page or two and found…a typo.  Probably it was a typo from the conversion of the mass market version of the book to Kindle.  But because of that typo, I decided to read the book through again — just in case.

War Cloud’s Passion is a story about War Cloud, an “outlaw” Cheyenne War Chief, who after attacking a train in order to free his younger brother, finds himself saddled with several orphans and Anna, the heroine of the story.

In writing this book, my brother-in-law had an idea.  Now, my brother-in-law, Bob, was quite a character, and he loved to laugh.  So one night as I sat around the living room talking about the story line of the newest book I was writing, he had a suggestion:  Why not insert a line or two about Goldie Locks and the Three Bears?  He thought the idea would be hilarious — given the more serious topic of the book.  I mean after all, the heroine’s hair color was a kind of golden blond.

Well, I thought about it and thought about it, and because he’d made me laugh and see the humor in it, I found a place in the book where I could make mention of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears.

My editor didn’t quite like the mention of three bears, but I convinced her to keep the line in, anyway (not telling her why).  For a while I ran contests to see if anyone could find the reference, and a few people did.  But then, life went on and I sort of forgot about it.

But as I was reading this book the other night, there it was — subtle, but there it was.

It made my husband and I smile, because Bob was a very dear part of our family.  It was an uplifting moment.  Here’s a link to some pictures of Bob and my husband, Paul and me.  http://novels-by-karenkay.com/toursphotos/2008-tour-pictures-dedicated-to-robert-bailey/2008-tour-pictures-dedicated-to-robert-bailey-part-iii/

And so I’m giving away a free copy of the mass market edition of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION.  A word to the winner:  the sentence (and it’s only one sentence, I believe) is toward the end of the book — not the very end, but about 3/4’s-7/8’s of the way through.  Look for it there.  I’ll leave you with some more pictures of Bob, my mother-in-law, Paul and me.

Updated: July 11, 2017 — 1:16 pm

Jodi Thomas Ransom Canyon Giveaway #5

Jodi’s back for another Ransom Canyon Giveaway. YeeHaw!!!

Wild Horse Springs

I wanted to write a story about happens when a fantasy comes true when I started Wild Horse Springs. I loved writing my sheriff, Dan Brigman. He daydreams of meeting a wild and beautiful woman, so when he finds a fancy blue woman’s cowboy boot, he tries to picture what the woman who wore it would be like. Finding her becomes his quest.

Step into Wild Horse Spring with me and fall in love for the first time all over again.

  • Are you a daydreamer?
  • Ever mentally rewritten the end of a movie or book to make it more satisfying?
  • Was there a time when your dreams were surpassed by reality?

To enter for a chance to win a copy of the fifth book in the Ransom Canyon series, leave a comment below. Winner will be selected on Monday, July 10.

Jodi Thomas Ransom Canyon Giveaway #4

Jodi’s back for another Ransom Canyon Giveaway. YeeHaw!!!

Sunrise Crossing

Many times in my life I’ve met someone, a stranger to all I know. After only a short conversation, I realize, if we had the time, we’d be friends for life.  I opened Sunrise Crossing with that thought in mind. Two women meet in a busy airport, but find what they are looking for in Crossroads, Texas.

Sunrise Crossing is a fast running adventure with two deep love stories in it. You will definitely lose some sleep reading into the night!

  • Have you ever had a chance meeting that turned into a meaningful friendship?

To enter for a chance to win a copy of the fourth book in the Ransom Canyon series, leave a comment below. Winner will be selected on Monday, July 3.

The Story Behind the Story of GRAY HAWK’S LADY

Howdy & Good Day!

Whether you’re joining us in the morning, afternoon or evening, welcome!

Today I thought I’d tell the story of the writing of the book, GRAY HAWK’S LADY, a tale deeply enshrined in my heart.  This story has just recently been re-released at Amazon, and because it is so special to me, I thought I’d give away a free ebook of the story today to some lucky blogger.

GrayHawksLady_v1Believe it or not, the story starts with a kiss.  But let me backtrack.  I had in 1992-1993 gone through a divorce and had come back to California, because I’ve considered it home ever since I was 18 and fell in love with it.  Unfortunately for me, I jumped right into a relationship that was very bad for…many reasons.  After that relationship, I wanted nothing to do with men, love, marriage again.  Sigh…

The year was now 1995 and I was on my own and definitely enjoying being on my own.  One of my best friends (whom I had known since 1970) was pushing me to go on a blind date.  I didn’t want to go and I told her I wanted nothing to do with men, relationships, marriage, dating…nothing…

But she insisted and I found my self consenting to one date.  That was in January of 1996.  I had a book due to my publisher in July of 1996, but had plenty of time to write it and had, indeed, started writing it when I went on this first date.

family1[1]So off I went on this first ever in my life blind date.  The gentleman picked me up at my house and I noticed he was wearing cowboy boots and being very interested in the West and Cowboys and Indians, this was great.  He was also born and raised in Montana, and I was very interested in Montana since the story of GRAY HAWK’ S LADY was to take place in Montana.

The date was good, okay.  We went out to eat, but I was left with the impression that he wasn’t really interested in me.  So, I put it behind me.  He never called, never asked me back out and never told me what was happening and so eventually, just to end my wondering about it, I called my friend, told her I was sorry it hadn’t worked out and … well, so long sort of thing.  To my surprise she wouldn’t let it go — I had just wanted to put it behind me.  She said, “Oh, no, he’s really interested in you.”  and I said, “Oh, no, I don’t think so.  Let’s just put the whole thing behind us.”  And she said, “No, I’m sure he really liked you.”

30002_391822494010_760039010_4043017_7176149_n[1]So she called his brother, who then talked to him, and the upshot of it all was that Paul then called me and asked me for another date.  Well, it had been a good first date, I thought, and he was a nice gentleman and perhaps we could be friends, I thought.  So I accepted.

Little did I know what was in store.  On the second date, we were both more relaxed, held hands, and I thought, okay, we’ll be friends.  He took me home, walked me to the door and just as I was about ready to go inside, he took me in his arms and kissed me.  Now, it was quite some kiss.  He meant it. And I was more than ready to receive it.   His hands caressed my cheeks, my eyes, my face, my hair, my neck. It went on and on and on, and when he was done, I felt a little drunk.  I think I stared at him and for the first time, I said to myself, “Who is this man?”  Indeed, I wanted more.

roadtr40[1]Well, that was that.  We had a date the next week, and within 2-3 weeks, I had moved in with him and we were married in May 1996.  Our first date was February 3rd 1996.  So it definitely was a whirlwind romance.

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with the book, GRAY HAWK’S LADY.  Well, a lot, I’m afraid.  I was in the middle of writing that book, and I fell so deeply in love with this man, who is now my husband, that of course that love was written all over the printed pages of GRAY HAWK’S LADY.  That first kiss and my Samhain_RWA2012_IMG_0292_Webemotional reaction to it is recorded in that work.  Also, my gradual coming to understand that this man was the most important man in my life is in that book.  His calmness, his teasing, his care…it’s all written there as I fell head over heels in love.  Over to the right here is a recent photo of us.

14-smooch[1]Did I mention that my earring (the night of that first kiss) fell off — and I have pierced ears!…

In May of this year, we were married for 21 years.  Interestingly enough I still have the pictures of our wedding on my website http://www.novels-by-KarenKay.com — can’t bring myself to take them down, even though 21 years more or less have gone by now.  People sometimes write to me and congratulate me on my recent marriage — and I smile.  To me, in many ways, it does seem like a recent marriage, as I fall in love with this man all over again every day.  I told him recently (only a few days ago) that for me it seems as if our time together has been like a fairy-tale romance (again, knock on wood).

galler6[1]I love this man with all my heart — and as the years have gone by, that love grows and grows and grows.   He stole my heart with that first kiss and that love goes on and on and on.  (I’ll knock on wood here.)  As the — gee, was it the Ronettes that once sang the song, “And Then He Kissed Me,” —  it has always seemed to me that it started with that kiss.    Ah, sweet!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today.  Again, I’ll be giving away a free copy of this ebook to some lucky blogger, so do leave a message.GrayHawksLady_v1

And if you haven’t done so before, pick up your copy of GRAY HAWK’S LADY today!

https://www.amazon.com/Gray-Hawks-Lady-Blackfoot-Warriors-ebook/dp/B0723B3VCM/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497836377&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=GRAY+HAWK%27S+LADY+by+Karen+Kay&tag=pettpist-20

Updated: June 18, 2017 — 8:44 pm

A Special Kind of Crazy

 

Please welcome our guest Laura Drake. 

Laura is giving away three eBook copies

of When Things Got Hot in Texas in Kindle or Nook–winner’s choice! So be sure to leave a comment.

(Contest guidelines apply)

 

 

Hey y’all!  For any who don’t know me, I’m Laura Drake, a Contemporary Western Romance author. But I mostly write about a specific kind of cowboy – the crazy ones – bull riders.

I’m a city girl from Detroit, but I married a Bigger-than-life Texan. On my first trip to Texas, he took me my first rodeo and I fell in love! Then I found out bull riding was on TV every Saturday and I was hooked! There’s something about a guy having the courage to get on a one-ton animal that wants to stomp his guts out that gets me. I’ve met a bunch of them, and my faith in the younger generation was bolstered; they’re down home country boys who still say ma’am and sir, and use the manners their mamas taught them. Well, and then there’s always the Wranglers in chaps!

I tend to jump in with both feet, but even I admit, I got carried away. I’ve been to ten regular events, and four World Finals in Vegas, one after breaking my leg in a freak fly fishing accident. Hey, I’m a dedicated fan….and it was a bonus that the handicapped staging area was right outside the guys locker-room!

A couple years later, I was writing a Women’s Fiction about the first woman bull fighter in the PBR (there’s never been one in real life). I felt like I should have more of an insider view of the skills involved, so I went to bull fighting School! No, I didn’t get in the arena with a bull, but if I’d been ten years younger, I would have!

I wrote a three-book series set in the world of pro bull riding. When the first one came out, I called in all my markers, and got with Jory Markiss, who at the time, was the #10 bull rider in the world (and he’s pretty darned cute, besides).

Speaking of seriously cute, for the model for my last hero in the series, Cam Cahill, I used the bull riding legend, Chris Shivers. I mean…whew!

I recently released a novella, Cowboy Karma, in the, When Things Got Hot in Texas anthology. I wanted to explore what would happen if an arrogant love-em-and leave ‘em bull rider tried to reform his bad boy ways.  Meet Stead James:

The When Things Got Hot in Texas was my idea – all five novellas set during a Texas Heat Wave. I contacted my Western Romance buds, and Lori Wilde, Christie Craig, Katie Lane, and Cynthia D’Alba took me up on it!

So, bottom line, yes, I’m a bit obsessive about bull riding. And I haven’t even talked about the bulls! Yes, many fans are there to cheer for them! But that’s a subject for another day.

So tell me, P&P readers – have you ever been to a bull riding event? Do you believe an arrogant man can change, given enough incentive?

 

Updated: June 8, 2017 — 5:04 pm

MAMA TRIED! (WHAT DOES A MEAL MEAN IN OUR WRITING?) by Cheryl Pierson

Cooking is the bane of my existence.  I know, I know. I hear the gasps of disbelief now! (Big grin here, because I know there are some people who agree with me, too.)  I think the reason for this is that my mother was TIRED by the time I came along. She was 35 when she had me, and already had her hands full with my 10-year-old and 12-year-old sisters. Like the Merle Haggard song says, “Mama Tried”—but it just didn’t work out.  I would have rather been climbing trees than making cookies.

When I was around 5 years old, our entire family went through the allergy clinic in Oklahoma City.  I got a wonderful flash of news that day! The doctor told my parents to let me eat whatever I wanted for breakfast—even if it was a hotdog.  I never liked “normal” breakfast food at breakfast—I usually just wasn’t hungry in the morning. I married a man who could wake up and eat a huge breakfast—but not me. Opposites DO attract.

So when I began to write, I tended to forget that my characters needed a meal every once in a while.  I still don’t write long cooking scenes, or even dinner scenes.  But, I know that dinner scenes most usually have a deeper meaning in our writing, or are meant to reveal something.

I will confess, I have never forgotten the breakfast scene in SWEET SAVAGE LOVE where the Mexican general makes Ginny come to his room as he is eating breakfast, offers her a bite, and then makes sure Steve sees it–while she’s half-dressed! I almost hated Ginny in that moment, seeing the scene through Steve’s eyes after he’d given himself up to save her. I had to remind myself she was just as duped as he had been. Anyone else remember that scene? It’s stayed with me after all those years, and I can still recall that feeling of shock and betrayal when I read it for the first time.

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote a scene in my novel BEYOND THE FIRE, where Kendi is making breakfast for herself and Jackson Taylor, the wounded DEA agent she’s caring for.  In FIRE EYES, Jessica makes oatmeal, and at one point she has cooked something earlier. But my cooking scenes are few and far between.

How about you? Do you love to cook? Hate it? Love to read about it or write about it? Anyone have a most memorable cooking scene in reading or writing ventures you want to share?

I will leave you with an excerpt from BEYOND THE FIRE, where Kendi and Jackson share a meal. I’m also including a DIVINE, easy recipe—the first thing I ever learned to bake—Blonde Brownies.

Amidst all this, I should say that I’m very very thankful to be able to cook and do it well. It’s a talent I never cultivated, but I’m thankful every day that I have the appliances I have to cook with rather than what was available in the old west.

Have you read or written any “meal” scenes that revealed something so deep you couldn’t get it out of your mind? Inquiring minds want to know! This subject intrigues me because it’s such a basic thing, but something that truly IS so revealing.  If you can’t think of one, tell me what your favorite thing to cook is–I’m always looking for new recipes and ideas!

I’m giving away a digital copy of one of my books of your choice–FIRE EYES (western historical romance) or BEYOND THE FIRE (contemporary romantic suspense) today to a commenter! Be sure to leave your contact information in your comment. 

 

EXCERPT FROM BEYOND THE FIRE:

She stirred the eggs and laid the unbuttered slices of bread onto a cookie sheet, then popped it into the oven to toast. Jack’s earlier confession about running drugs had been quite a surprise. He obviously wasn’t used to sharing information about himself, especially something so personal.

She sighed, turning the bologna, then cutting a slice in each piece as it rose up in the center. That confession had been honest, though totally unexpected. There were only two choices—to trust him, or not. If not, she needed to find him one of Tal’s old shirts and send him packing no later than tomorrow morning.

If she did trust him, that was a bit stickier. That meant more doctoring, more talking, more caring…and letting him stay until he recovered enough to…to what? Go back and get himself killed trying to rescue this ‘partner’ of his?

Kendi gave a caustic chuckle as she pulled the toasted bread from the oven. Some partner. She’d never forget the way Clint Rivers had bent and put the gun close to Jack’s head. That he’d shot to the side is beside the point, she thought indignantly. Logically, she realized if the man had wanted to, he could have killed Jack. But in her heart, she was angry he hadn’t killed the shorter man with him and driven Jack to a hospital for the care he needed. Didn’t partners take care of each other?

She lifted the eggs up from the pan to the plate, then the bologna, which she cut up. Even that small task would be too much for Jack to manage with his wounded hands.

Somehow, she realized her dilemma was solved. She couldn’t say how or why, but looking at the tray she’d put together, she knew Jack would be staying. No matter what happened, her life was already entwined with his. It had happened the moment she witnessed his ‘murder’—and it might very well end with her own.

Oddly, that was why Kendi trusted him. She had brought him into her home, and she had not called for help. She had cleaned and bandaged his wounds and sat up with him through the rest of the night. She had even laid down beside him to give him her own warmth.

She wanted to laugh at herself. Her fate had been decided the minute she stepped out of the house last night, intending to scare the high school kids off her property. She tried to tell herself there wasn’t room on the tray for two plates, and that was why she’d put the food on one common dish for both of them. But in her heart, she knew it was more.

She put the coffee carafe on the tray then slowly opened the silverware drawer and took out two forks. Eating separately from the shared plate was a lot like living individually in the same, suddenly small universe. She started toward the stairs with mingled fear and wonder, knowing there was nothing she could do to stop this world of theirs from turning toward whatever end Fate dealt them. She wondered if Jack knew it, too.

 

BLONDE BROWNIES

4 eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla

1½  cups flour

2 ½  cups brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

½  cup (OR MORE!) choc. Chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat eggs well. Add brown sugar gradually, beating until well mixed. Add vanilla, flour, salt and mix well. Add chopped nuts and mix. Pour into a greased, 9×13 pan and sprinkle chocolate chips over top of the batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven). This makes a 9×13 pan of brownies. You can half this recipe for an 8×8 pan, and reduce cooking time to 25 minutes.

FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL OF CHERYL’S WORK, CLICK HERE:  https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson/a/strong/em?tag=pettpist-20

Historical Events That Shaped Our Country and 5 Gift Card Giveaways by Charlene Sands!

 

I remember when I first started out writing, our dear filly sister, Margaret Brownley , who was once a mentor of mine, told me if I wanted to write western historical novels, I should target a 10 to 15 year  period and become very familiar with the events and inventions of those times.  Since I love history, this was not a chore and with a little luck, some talent and a lot of hard work, Harlequin published my first historical, Lily Gets Her Man. I don’t know if Margaret knows this, but I attribute my writing that book to her!  Thank you, Margaret!

Here’s a bit of the timeline and historic events I used to guide me when writing my historical novels dated from 1875 to 1890:

1875

Wyatt Earp begins a career as a law officer in Kansas

Gold is found by Black Hills miners in Deadwood Creek, South Dakota

Grasshoppers ravage the plains.

1876

Mark Twain writes The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The telephone was demonstrated by Alexander Graham Bell

Bat Masterson became a deputy marshal of Dodge City, Kansas, serving along with his brother Jim.

1879

First Woolworth store opens in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The San Francisco California Electrical Company is the first in the world to begin selling electrical services

1880

Hide hunters have shot buffalo to near extinction

Cattle business booms in the West.

The Tombstone Epitaph begins publication in Arizona

1882

Polygamy is outlawed

William F. Cody initiated the first Wild West exhibition

1883

The Northern Pacific Railroad connecting the northwestern states to points east is finally completed after 19 years of struggle.

Statue of Liberty unveiled

1884

Prairie fires burn millions of acres in North Dakota

Ohio Valley floods

There’s a financial crisis in New York

1887

Oregon is the first state to recognize Labor Day as a legal holiday

Silver is discovered in Leadsville, Colorado

On November 8, Doc Holliday died of tuberculosis in Colorado

 

1889

The first Oklahoma Land Run occurs where 50,000 plus– rush to grab almost 2 million acres of once Indian Territory land.

Idaho and Wyoming are admitted to the Union

The massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota ends the Indian Wars

 

1890

North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington are admitted to the Union.

Anne Sewell writes Black Beauty

The US Department of the Interior announces that the frontier is closed.

Fast Forward to 2017

 

I want to thank each and every one of you wonderful loyal bloggers for coming to my blogs here at Petticoats and Pistols. I’ve had a wonderful ten year run with these fine ladies and it’s my time to bid you ado.  I will still be writing my modern day western heroes and will be stopping by to say hello!

For the authors:  I’m saying a Special Big Thank You for being supportive, hard-working and diligent in making this blog one of the finest!   I love you all!!

For our bloggers:  Please know that these authors, many of whom have become life-long  friends are the very best of the best. I leave you in their capable hands.  And to celebrate my years here at Petticoats, I’m giving away five, $5.00  Amazon Gift cards to random winners to show my appreciation!  Check back later in the day! 

So Happy Trails and love to all,

Charlene

Visit me at http://www.charlenesands.com for all my new releases and latest news!  And be sure to look for the 3rd book in the Forever Texan Series titled Redeeming the Texas Rancher – August 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated: June 4, 2017 — 11:39 pm
Petticoats & Pistols © 2015