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The Lines Between Fact and Fiction

 

Welcome Tanya Michaels, author of the upcoming release,

THE COWBOY’S TEXAS TWINS!

 

 

A DOUBLE SURPRISE

Rodeo cowboy Grayson Cox had no intention of returning home to Cupid’s Bow, Texas. His troubled past was something best left behind. But when he suddenly finds himself serving as guardian to twin godsons, Grayson knows he’s in way too deep to stay away.

Thankfully, not everyone in Cupid’s Bow holds a grudge. Librarian Hadley Lanier remembers Grayson’s rebellious youth, but she also sees how good he is with the twins—and she definitely likes what she sees. It feels like a perfect match, until Hadley receives a career opportunity she’s long dreamed of, leaving her with a tough decision. But how can she choose between something she’s always wanted and the man she’s discovering she can’t live without?

 

The Lines Between Fact and Fiction

One of the fun parts of being a writer is taking inspiration from real life and blending it with pure fiction. I write a lot of hometown stories, which—for me personally—is the height of fiction because the first part of my life was spent moving around to Army bases. Eventually, though, I landed in Texas, where I went to high school and college. If you’ve read my Harlequin Western Romances, you probably know I set most of my stories in Texas (specifically, the fictional small town of Cupid’s Bow, Texas). What you may not know is that Cupid’s Bow is loosely based on a real town where my in-laws have a farm.

I love the farm. Well, okay, I love most of the farm.

It’s serene and beautiful and there’s nowhere on earth where I’ve ever seen so many stars. There are, however, a few drawbacks. For instance, my kids call the farm The Land Without Wifi. And, after twenty plus years of visiting, I’m still not quite used to the overpowering sulfuric smell/taste of the well water.

Writing my Cupid’s Bow stories allows me to share the best parts of a beloved rural setting…but readers don’t have to deal with the pungent smell of the pasture when the wind shifts or the itchiness of hay. (Am I the only one who can’t enjoy a festive hayride without a few Benadryl?)

As someone who lived in Texas from her teens into adulthood, I have some knowledge about the state but I can pick and choose how I want to use it in my stories. For instance, in the towns where I’ve lived, dance halls are very popular local establishments. This works well in my romances, so I’ve set some of my favorite scenes in dance halls reminiscent of the ones I’ve been to with friends. Ah, fond memories. Some of my less-fond memories of Texas life include fire-ants. So those suckers don’t exist in Tanya’s Texas. Ditto mosquitos roughly the size of condors.

That’s not to say, however, that when I write a book, I don’t include some of life’s difficulties and challenges. Quite the contrary. Although I try to be a nice person in my real life (“try” being the key word), I’m mean as heck to my poor characters. I like to throw obstacles at them that give them the opportunity for growth and improvement. I just don’t think they should have to deal with things like the copperhead snake (!) we once found in our yard (!!!) or the scorpion in the Kleenex box. Confession: Although I’ve loved horse-back riding since I was a kid, I’m not very outdoorsy. If it skitters or slithers, I’m probably afraid of it so let’s not discuss further.

MOVING ON…

From family to friends, a lot of my favorite people are either from Texas or live there now. I love these people. But fair warning—they can be unexpectedly intense about a few things. Like football. And barbecue. And being Texans. Most of my Cupid’s Bow characters have a lot of local pride, but I played with that idea in my February book THE COWBOY’S TEXAS TWINS The hero, Grayson, hates his hometown; he ran away from Cupid’s Bow the second he graduated high school and vowed never to return. But his life is upended when he gets custody of his twin godsons. He goes home to Cupid’s Bow to ask his favorite aunt’s help. Once there, he’s startled to find himself falling for the town sweetheart, librarian Hadley Lanier. Poor Grayson is going to have to come to grips with his past and make some amends if he wants a brighter future for himself and his adorable godsons.

GIVEAWAY!

So what about you guys—do you have a specific hometown? Is it a place you still live/like to visit or a place you were happy to leave in order to see more of the wide world? Post your experience of where you’re from for a chance to win 3 of my Cupid’s Bow books: The Christmas Triplets, The Cowboy Upstairs and the not-yet released The Cowboy’s Texas Twins.

 

Award-winning, bestselling author Tanya Michaels is living proof of how much you can accomplish if you’re willing to sacrifice a clean house and sleep. Married to a supportive, real-life romance hero, Tanya is the mother of two and the author of over forty books. She’s a six-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award and a past nominee for RT BookReview’s Career Achievement Award. She is also a frequent workshop presenter and event speaker, because what’s more fun than talking to lots of other people who love books?

Facebook  Twitter  Website  Books

 

 

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Updated: January 18, 2018 — 8:07 pm

Re-visiting old friends

Something I love doing in my books is revisiting old friends.

I’ve written books with slight references to characters in former books. I’ve had characters get cameos in new books.

I’ve let children grow up and have their own stories, with former heroes and heroines as secondary characters.

And I did that again with my latest release

Hearts Entwined

In Bookstores Now!

This is a novella collection with my Petticoats & Pistols filly sister Karen Witemeyer, also Regina Jennings and Melissa Jagears.

We had so much fun with this book. Mine is called The Tangled Ties that Bind.

Karen’s is The Love Knot

Regina’s is Bound and Determined

Melissa’s is titled Tied and True.

The titles alone make me smile.

My books, beyond the fun title, is about two little children who grew up as cousins…six months apart in age…and when the boy Connor Kincaid, reaches the age of fifteen, he starts having feelings for his life long best friend Maggie Kincaid, that aren’t fitting for cousins. Connor knows he’s too young, and still too dependent on his father Seth Kincaid (Over the Edge) and his two uncles Rafe (Out of Control) and Ethan Kincaid (In Too Deep), to get married, so he goes to visit his uncle, his mother’s brother, in Texas, Luke Stone (Swept Away).

Connor stays away to give himself a chance to grow up and comes home to find…his sweet little cousin Maddie grew up, too. And she’s moved to Denver and is deep in her studies to become a doctor. She’s even accepted a job half a state away from where Connor plans to settle into ranching with his family.

I even start the book out with some of the Kincaid family being gone on a trip that includes visiting Uncle Heath Kincaid (No Way Up)

Well, it was just pure fun to revisit these old characters. But I’ll tell you, in this convoluted world of cousins who share not one single drop of blood, and children grown up. Generational leaps can sometimes be confusing.

I didn’t start this story out with Connor and Maggie sittin’ in a tree.

Sneak Peak at Book #1 in the High Sierra Sweethearts Series coming in April……. The Accidental Guardian

Oh, no! I started with Isaac, the brother of Ethan’s wife from In Too Deep. He had the briefest possible mention as a young boy left behind in In Too Deep, then he was a solid secondary character in the novella I did last year with Karen, Regina and Melissa….that one’s called With This Ring? And I loved Isaac and wanted him to have his own love story. Which he probably will someday!!! Just not this one!!!

So while Isaac and Maggie were up there talking………treed by an angry mama buffalo………LOL, I’m sorry, I am sincerely sitting here laughing as I type this……while they’re up there talking I realize that Isaac is Maggie’s UNCLE.

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!

So that had to go. And I cast my mind around for other ‘children now grown up’ couples and hallelujah, I found Connor Kincaid. So Maggie grew up without even knowing Isaac…but they’re blood kin–so yikes!!!….but she was raised as a cousin to Connor…but she came into the family with her mother Audra…Isaac’s big sister. Ethan took over as her dad…no real relation at all.

Anyway, things can get tricky when you’re writing, jumping across years and time, through series and states, sometimes books I wrote years ago.

Leave a comment about the time you wrote a book and almost had a young woman unknowingly marry her own uncle

Okay, forget that creepy question. LOL Leave a comment of ANY KIND to get your name in a drawing for a copy of Hearts Entwined–a book with absolutely no consanguinity issues whatsoever!!! And if Karen Witemeyer is going to talk about this book this month….I’d like to see her top THAT story.

Updated: January 17, 2018 — 9:13 pm

UNDER A WESTERN SKY–NEW RELEASE FROM PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS! by Cheryl Pierson

I’m so thrilled! Prairie Rose Publications just released a fantastic boxed set—with SIX WHR novel-length stories included. Best of all? For a limited time, this collection is ONLY .99! Every one of these stories is a bold, exciting western read with (of course!) a wonderful romance at it’s core—take a look at UNDER A WESTERN SKY!

Where do the very best love stories blossom? UNDER A WESTERN SKY, of course! This fabulous boxed set of six tales of danger and romance are sure to capture your imagination as you are carried away to the old west. Handsome marshals, Texas Rangers, gunslingers, and wealthy landowners meet their matches with the daring women they happen to fall in love with, and you won’t want to put this boxed set down until you’ve read the very last story!

Authors Cheryl Pierson, Celia Yeary, Kaye Spencer, Tracy Garrett, Patti Sherry-Crews, and Agnes Alexander spin six incredible novel-length love stories filled with danger, excitement, and romance that will keep you turning page after incredible page until the very end. Saddle up and kick back for some excellent reading, as star-studded romance finds you UNDER A WESTERN SKY!

 

 

FIRE EYES by Cheryl Pierson
Beaten and wounded by a band of sadistic renegades that rules the borderlands of Indian Territory, U.S. Marshal Kaed Turner understands what the inevitable outcome will be for him: death. But Fate and a war party of Choctaw Indians intervene, delivering him instead to a beautiful angel with the skill to heal him. Jessica Monroe has already lost a husband and a brother to these outlaws. Can she afford to gamble with her heart one last time?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS by Celia Yeary
To escape an arranged marriage, beautiful, proper Cynthia Harrington impulsively marries Ricardo Romero, a sensual Spaniard who ranches on the edge of the Texas frontier. She struggles to gain a foothold in the hostile household, determined to make a place for herself—but will she also find a way to make her husband love her? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEXAS GOLD by Tracy Garrett
Texas Ranger Jake McCain is hot on the trail of a band of murderous outlaws when they ambush him and leave him for dead in the blinding snow. The last thing Rachel Hudson expects the blizzard to bring is a wounded Ranger with a pack of trouble. She and Jake have more than a powerful mutual attraction in common—the dangerous gunmen he’s been chasing intend to steal Rachel and her brother, Nathan. But Jake’s not about to lose the woman who means everything to him—Rachel, his TEXAS GOLD…(Previously published as TOUCH OF TEXAS)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE COMANCHERO’S BRIDE by Kaye Spencer
Beautiful heiress Elizabeth White is exiled to Texas until she agrees to marry the prominent politico her parents have chosen for her—Grayson Beal. When Elizabeth is approached at a fiesta by dark-eyed, handsome Mingo Valderas, her heart will never be her own again. But Mingo has a reputation as a Comanchero—a man who is as fast with his knives as he is with his gun. Still, Elizabeth gives her trust to him, and their whirlwind courtship begins. Beal will stop at nothing to claim Elizabeth—and only one man can protect her. Elizabeth and Mingo stay one step ahead of Beal…but will that be enough?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARGARITA AND THE HIRED GUN by Patti Sherry-Crews
Pampered Margarita McIntosh is sent away by her father for her own safety—from what, she’s not sure. The long journey ahead and the secret she carries in her saddlebag could be the death of her. A rough Irish gunman, Rafferty, is entrusted with getting her to her destination—for a reward—his ticket to a new life. But will Rafferty’s protection be enough to save their lives? And will the heat of their passion seal their future—if they do survive?

 

 


 

XENIA’S RENEGADE by Agnes Alexander
An urgent plea for help from a family member calls for action from Xenia Poindexter and her sister. But traveling west to save their uncle, a raid on a stagecoach way station would have seen them dead if not for handsome half-Sioux rancher, Ty Eldridge. Ty wants to protect Xenia from her uncle’s schemes, but he’s been burned in the past by love. Though others say they’re all wrong for each other, Xenia has never felt more “right” than when she’s in Ty’s arms. Is true love worth the chance of becoming XENIA’S RENEGADE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you’ll snap up your very own copy of this wonderful boxed set today–there’s truly something for everyone here! Here’s the Amazon link!

https://tinyurl.com/yd4aqvqp 

I’m Just an Okie from Muskogee

Welcome Tina Radcliffe, Author of Claiming Her Cowboy! 

 

 

 

Book Description

Attorney Jackson Harris regularly goes toe-to-toe with the world’s toughest lawyers—but none of them compare to Lucy Maxwell. The feisty director of Oklahoma’s Big Heart Ranch for orphans is as stubborn as she is pretty. But Jack must stay focused; he’s only there to evaluate the ranch’s funding. Falling for Lucy and the sweet children she protects is out of the question. Though Lucy is determined to keep the ranch, she’s not about to give control to a city slicker—even a devastatingly good-looking one. But as they bump heads, Jack and Lucy gradually nudge open their hearts. Could a temporary cowboy become a permanent part of Lucy’s life?

 

 

 

A big 2018 HELLO, to the Fillies of Petticoats & Pistols!

One of my very favorite places to set a story is in Oklahoma. I’m partial to the state after living there more than seventeen years. To me, there’s nothing sweeter than an Oklahoma drawl.

My blog title comes from the Merle Haggard song, and I apologize if you now have that tune in your head all day. The song is nearly fifty years old and while the lyrics may be a tad bit dated, the sentiment is not.

It parallels the philosophy of the Oklahoma cowboy. There are cowboys and ranches in all fifty states, there’s something special about an Oklahoma cowboy, especially the way he thinks and the way he talks. He’s hard-working, loyal, an all-American patriot who loves Okie football, and when he opens his mouth to speak I’m swooning a little.

Oklahoma dialect is unique although depending on where you’re from in the state it can overlap with Texas and Arkansas speech patterns. This is why you’ll hear terms like“y’all and “fixin’ to,” across borders. With the mobility we see today in the job market, much original Okie dialect is watered down. It’s also watered down or erased by Oklahomans purposely to avoid the stereotype that confuses language with culture.

When writing the Oklahoma cowboy for my new series from Love Inspired, Big Heart Ranch, I let a secondary character, old wrangler named Dutch Stevens, spin the Oklahoma dialect most of the time with some help from five-year-old named Dub Lewis, because too much dialect from primary characters can take away from the reading enjoyment.

There’s a charm and music to speaking Okie and nothing makes me happier than overhearing a conversation where the speaker says “I’m fixing to get some chicken fried steak, but first I’m going to stop at the QT for some pop.”

Speech patterns for true Oklahoma dialect are slow, methodical, and often with pauses if the sentence is more than a few words. Oklahoma-speak can often be pinpointed by the identification of certain terminology and there is an entire lingo that is unique to the state.

If you want to get a real taste for Oklahoma cowboy in particular, take a look at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum website. Check out the Cowboy page and the videos here. The museum is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

There’s no definitive dictionary of Okie terms because Oklahoma is diverse and culture and environment play into the mix. But I can tell you that my arrival in Tulsa from New York was a culture shock.

People shut off the light instead of turning it off. They put groceries in sacks instead of bags. They ate salary instead of celery too. Fish and chips meant catfish and fries. Football fell into two categories Sooners or Cowboys. Liquor stores were closed on Sunday and there was a church on every corner.

Then there were those strange words like:

Mere – Mirror

Skeeter – Mosquito

Soda – Pop

Agg – Egg

QT – Quick Trip Convenience Store (Home of Lamar)

Chicken Fried Steak – See to Understand

Chigger – Mites

OKC – Oklahoma City

T-Town – Tulsa

Tony Lama – Western boots

PeeKahn – Pecan

My Ideal Oklahoma Cowboy

To create my ideal Oklahoma cowboy I take my favorite Oklahoma terminology and culture and then sprinkle in Western speak and lingo. If you’re a city slicker, you can find some fun and helpful Western speak here and here.

GIVEAWAY!

Have you got any Okie-isms of your own? Do you speak Okie or Cowboy Okie?

Leave a comment today and I’ll be sending a print copy or digital copy of Claiming Her Cowboy to three commenters along with a fun Western surprise. If you’ve already read the book, I’ll send a thank you and a fun Western surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Her move to Colorado led to a career as a library cataloger. A 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner, she has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career and she is on the RWA Honor Roll. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over two dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Stay up to date on all her releases and fun giveaways by signing up for her newsletter here. Visit her on the web at http://www.tinaradcliffe.com Facebook Twitter

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Yuma Territorial Prison: Country Club on the Colorado

The Yuma Territorial Prison was known as the Country Club on the Colorado. I’ve wanted to visit this prison ever since I wrote A Cowboy’s Redemption (2015, Cowboys of the Rio Grande series).I wasn’t sure how readers would react to a “contemporary” western with an ex-con hero but I soon learned romance fans love a good redemption story. A Cowboy‘s Redemption  won the 2015 RT Book Reviewers’ Choice Award for best Harlequin American Romance.

 

A MAN WITH A PAST… 

Cruz Rivera is on his last second chance. He can’t afford to blow it by falling for the beautiful blonde widow who just hired him to fix up her family’s New Mexico property. If he’s going to get back on the rodeo circuit, Cruz needs to focus. Besides, a sweet single mom like Sara Mendez can do better than someone with Cruz’s troubled history.

Sara isn’t making it easy for Cruz to keep his distance. He’s a man of many secrets, but Sarah sees only good in his warm brown eyes. Though Cruz knows he should move on before Sara discovers the truth about his past, he can’t leave the closest thing to a home he’s ever known. Cruz is the only man Sara wants—can he become the one she deserves?

 

 

 

The Yuma Territorial Prison is located along the Colorado River on the way from Phoenix to San Diego. Last summer my husband and I toured the historical site. You’ve probably heard of the prison—it’s been the focus of several western movies—maybe the most famous being the original “3:10 to Yuma”, starring Glenn Ford and the 2007 remake, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Below is a photo of the “country club” from yumaprison.org

Yuma Historical Prison

A total of 3069 prisoners called the Yuma territorial Prison home, including 29 women during the 33 years of operation. $25,000 was budgeted for the construction in 1876 and the first handful of inmates moved in on July 1, 1876.

Yuma Territorial Prison cell Block door  Yuma Territorial Prison

In its hay day the Territorial Yuma Prison had more modern amenities than most homes in town: electricity, forced ventilation, sanitation—two bathtubs and three showers, a library with 2,000 books, the most in the Territory at the time, and an “enlightened, progressive” administration and a Prison Band.

  Hell Hole

Prisoners feared and loathed the Yuma Territorial Prison….because of its “Insufferable heat… that made the place an “inferno,” surrounded by rivers, quick sand and desert in all directions, an inhuman “Snake Den” and Ball and Chain as standard punishment, Tuberculosis was #1 Killer. But of the 112 prisoners who died while at the Yuma Territorial Prison, very few died violently.

Eight were shot while trying to escape. Six commited suicide. Five died in work accidents, only 2 were killed by another prisoner and one was executed by Yuma County.

 

 

Prison Timeline

Yuma Territorial Prison opened in 1876. The guard tower and water reservoir were built in 1882 and electricity hooked up in 1884.

 

Yuma Territorial Prison Tower and Prison water storage tank

 

Women’s cells built 1891

The women didn’t have to sleep in steel bunkbeds like the men. The steel bunkbeds were used to cut down on infestations and there were 6 steel bunkbeds to each cell.

Yuma Territorial Prison cell  Yuma Territorial Prison bunkbeds in cell

1899 legendary stagecoach robber Pearl Hart, known as the bandit queen, was sentence to 5 years for robbing the Globe to Florence stagecoach. She became a media sensation and flirted with both prisoners and guards, leading to her early departure when pardoned after 2 years.

Yuma Territorial Prison Hart

 

 

 

 

 

Library 1893 South Wall

This was the location of the library–the image on the wall is what it looked like back in the day.

Yuma Territorial Prison library

 

Dark Cell 1894 South Wall

Yuma Territorial Prison Dark Cell exterior  Yuma Territorial Prison cell interior

1909 due to overcrowding the prison closes and prisoners are moved to Florence.

Yuma Union High School occupied the buildings from 1910 to 1914. When the school’s football team played against Phoenix and unexpectedly won, the Phoenix team called the Yuma team “criminals”. Yuma High adopted the nickname with pride, sometimes shortened to the “Crims”. The school’s symbol is the face of a hardened criminal, and the student merchandise shop is called the Cell Block.

1916 famous Yuma flood and prison materials used to rebuild Yuma, destroying remains of prison

1932 depression era victims use prison for shelter.

1939 squatters evicted and 1940 museum built on site with New Deal funds.

1942 guard tower used for WWII spotting.

I hope you enjoyed touring the Yuma Territorial Prison with me and if you get the chance to see it, there’s a wonderful visitor’s center with fabulous historical photos and stories of the old prison. Just a tidbit of advice–don’t visit the prison when it’s 109 degrees out like we did~fall and winter would be the best months to walk around outside.

Giveaway!

For a chance to win this coffee mug from the Yuma Territorial Prison gift shop tell me if you’ve ever toured a famous prison before or if there’s one you would like to see some day. I’ll announce the winner in the comment section of this blog post Sunday January 14th!

ceramic mug with prison logo

 

Until Next Time…Happy Trails!

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Author Evelyn M. Hill…His Forgotten Fiancée 

 

 Welcome Evelyn M. Hill, author of His Forgotten Fiancée!  

 

 

                                    Book Description

                                                   BUY

Liza Fitzpatrick is stunned when her fiancé finally arrives in Oregon City — with amnesia. Matthew Dean refuses to honor a marriage proposal he doesn’t recall making, but Liza needs his help now to bring in the harvest, and maybe she can help him remember…

Matthew is attracted to the spirited Liza, and as she tries to help him regain his old memories, the new ones they’re creating together start to make him feel whole. Even as he falls for her again, though, someone’s determined to keep them apart. Will his memory return in time to save their future?

 

I will never write about a character who goes bungee jumping.

When possible, I try out the tasks my characters have to do. I want to know what it is like to cook biscuits on a cast iron griddle, how heavy a rifle is when I hold it, how wearing a prairie bonnet limits my peripheral vision like a horse with blinders and what it’s like to use a scythe.

When I wrote His Forgotten Fiancée, I had to write about Matthew using a scythe to harvest crops. He was a lawyer by profession; he knew as much as I do on the subject. I read about people scything, but that’s not nearly as effective as hands-on research.

Googling lead me to Scythe Supply. They sell scythes that are customized to your height, so you can use them comfortably.

                                                               Winslow Homer, Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

They made it sound so easy to use one. And I did want to know what it felt like to scythe. Besides, my lawn was looking something like this:

                                                          Jim Clark, USFWS, Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

All right, I have to confess. It wasn’t only for research. There were other reasons to try using a scythe. While my lawn is really too small to hire someone to come take care of it, I can’t cut the grass with a gas-powered lawnmower. Something about these lawnmowers triggers an allergic reaction. I don’t have problems with a push-reel mower, but those don’t do as good a job when the grass is wet. And in the Pacific Northwest, in spring and fall, the grass is pretty much always wet. Using a scythe appealed on more than one level.

So I got one and tried it out. I have to say that I loved, loved, loved how quiet the experience was. I hate the sound of my neighbors’ gas-powered motors. When I scythed, I could hear the birds singing over the swish of the scythe through the grass, and I had no problems breathing. Bonus, my arms got a workout. They felt a little sore when I was done, but not horribly so. And my lawn ended up looking like this:

This is what I wrote for Matthew’s experience of scything for the first time:

Matthew discovered he liked using the scythe. Gripping the snath, he swept the blade in an arc, keeping it low to the ground. The cradle attached to one side of the scythe scooped up the wheat stalks and laid them out on the ground to his left. Then he stepped forward and swept the scythe again. Another step, another sweep of the blade. He could mark his passage through the field by the ever-lengthening row of stalks lying on the ground on his left. The kitten watched for a little while before going off to explore the bushes along the stream.

Liza followed behind him. She gathered up the stalks, winding another stalk of wheat around the bundle and tying it into a knot. He stole a glance at her. Her fair face was flushed, and sweat trickled down and she wiped her brow, but she did not stop bending over and gather up the stalks.

It was laborious work at first, but soon he developed a rhythm. The heat of the sun beat through the thin cotton of his shirt, and sweat trickled between his shoulder blades. But soon, he lost awareness of everything but the swish of the scythe, the sound of bird song, and the sense that he was participating in life, becoming part of something greater than himself. There was a definite feeling of satisfaction when he reached the end of the row and looked back and see what he had accomplished. Here, the results of his efforts were tangible and immediately rewarding, not just moving paper from the In tray to the Out tray.  —

GIVEAWAY!

For a chance to win a signed copy of His Forgotten Fiancée answer Evelyn’s question and  leave a comment on this blog post.  

QUESTION: Have you tried using a scythe? I admit, I’m not sure I’d like to have to use one to harvest the south 40, but for a tiny, rain-soaked lawn? It’s got a lot to recommend it.

 

 

Evelyn M. Hill 

According to family tradition, Evelyn M. Hill is descended from a long line of Texas horse thieves. (But when your family is not only Texan, but Irish, tall tales come with the territory.) This might explain why she devoted much of her childhood to writing stories about horses. Once she grew up, the stories naturally featured a tall, handsome cowboy as well. She lives at the end of the Oregon Trail, where she gets to do all her historical research in person, and she loves to hear from readers!

His Forgotten Fiancée released January 1, 2018  

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Annual Connealy Christmas Letter–The names are changed to protect the embarrassed

 

Oh CoOh Co

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

Oldest daughter and family…no changes…kid 7, 5, 3….the kids cuter than ever (my daughter and her husband are cute too…)

2nd daughter’s got the big change of my girls. She moved and started a new job. She’s always in the middle of some new training or some new development with her apartment. So that’s fun. (for me—I sure hope she’s enjoying it!!!)

3rd daughter and family…no changes…her little girl turned 2…adorable as ever…(3rd daughter and husband are adorable, too.)

4th daughter…I looked up what they do for a living on LinkedIn. My daughter is a quantitative specialist (yes, figure out what that means yourself…but she seems to like it!). Her husband is a Global Trade Compliance Manager. I made him explain that to me. And it’s global…or something.

I’m still writing romance novels. My Cowboy is still a farmer and cattleman—he’s trying to cut back but the cows come to the house and drag him out if he doesn’t care for them so it’s tricky.

In July I had eye surgery for a detached retina and it seems like that’s been the center of my universe, the surgery and recovery from it, then in November cataract surgery which is, I guess, a common follow-up.

 

Clearly from this 40th anniversary picture you can see we married as infants

<<<<< My Cowboy and I had our 40th wedding anniversary this year. That’s getting to be a long, long time.

That’s it. Quiet year…especially the part I spend lying FACE DOWN FOR TEN DAYS AFTER THE SURGERY. Tha-a-at’s right. Part of healing up from detached retina surgery was being under doctor’s orders to SMOTHER MYSELF.

My Cowboy came through to take care of me like a real life romance novel hero.

My daughters were great, too, when I was laid up. Sweet things. But I didn’t get to pick up a grandbaby for waaaay too long.

 

 

Merry Christmas – Happy New Year 2018

 

Updated: December 23, 2017 — 6:35 pm
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