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TWO BOOKS IN ONE MONTH–Cowboys of Summer & All for Love

I am in two novella collections releasing May 1. Both are available for pre-order right now.

Cowboys of Summer is super fun because I AM WRITING A CONTEMPORARY COWBOY STORY!!!

It’s a novella collection with Cheryl St.John, Tina Radcliffe, Lorna Seilstad, Missy Tippens and Sherri Shackleford. A really fun and talented group and we have had a lot of fun putting this together.

A little bit about

Cowboys of Summer

As the summer weather sizzles, relax by the pool with stirring tales of handsome cowboys and the spirited ladies who wrangle them into romance. Six of Christian fiction’s most beloved authors join forces to bring you a collection of humorous, romantic and heartfelt novellas set against the sultry heat of summer.
In Mary Connealy’s, “Dr. Tess and the Cowboy”, sparks fly when Dr. Tessa Rhoades discovers dinosaur bones on Joe Holt’s ranch and decides to excavate-even if that means kicking Joe off his own land.
In “Hometown Girl” by Cheryl St.John, injured rodeo champion Justin Cooper returns to the sleepy Oklahoma town he escaped for fame and fortune–and takes his biggest tumble yet–straight into the arms of Stevie Marshall, his first love who soon has him questioning his life choices.
In Tina Radcliffe’s, “Lake Effect”, cynical cowboy Tucker Jackson knows he’s in trouble when he starts counting the days until the end of summer and praying ‘summer girl’ Jessica Richards will find a home for her heart in Paradise.
In “His Lone Star Heart” by Missy Tippens, rancher Zeb West tries hard not to fall for Beecher Brown, the feisty but off-limits sister of his best friend. As she tries to prove she’s capable of running her family’s ranch–the one he’s trying to buy–he might just find he’s met his match…for life.
Will Lorna Seilstad’s characters make “Great Strides” when Dana Etherton, the owner of a horse therapy ranch, must choose between the kids she serves and Adam Malone, the embezzler who’s been assigned to do community service there?
When Paige Monroe agrees to draw the press away from a country star’s wedding by pretending to be the look-alike bride, she wasn’t counting on having very real feeling for her decoy fiancé, Sterling Tanner. Sherri Shackelford’s, “The Decoy Bride”, shows what happens when two people feigning love forget they’re acting.


The second book is —

All for Love

Another novella collection but this one with a spin. The book in this collection has been published before as an ebook. It’s The Boden Birthright. So if you’ve read that, you might want to read the others, or have a print copy of it. But I don’t want anyone to think it’s new and be unhappily surprised.

I’m in All for Love with Kristin Hunter and Jen Turano, both really talented authors and I’m delighted to get to be in this collection with them.

Three of Christian historical fiction’s beloved authors come together in this romantic and humorous collection of novellas featuring prequels to their latest series. New and loyal fans alike will enjoy these novellas previously released only as ebooks. Connealy’s “The Boden Birthright” journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden’s determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer’s pretty daughter. Hunter’s “A Lady of Esteem” follows a Regency-era young lady whose chance at love and reputation in society are threatened by a nasty rumor. Turano’s “At Your Request” tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected.

Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for an ecopy of Cowboys of Summer, that’s the only way this one is available…in ebook format…at least for now. And a real live copy of All for Love…….I’ll send these when I can get my hands on them!!!

Two books. Two winners. 

Updated: April 18, 2018 — 10:30 pm


Hi everyone! It’s near the end of winter, thank goodness, and spring is right around the corner. I have never been a “winter” person, and it seems like the older I get the less I like to see the approach of those cold, dreary winter months. We had our yearly ice storm—we get a lot of that here in Oklahoma—but it’s over!

Growing up, I don’t remember having “cabin fever”—I was always able to entertain myself with indoor activities—coloring, paper dolls, board games, reading,  and yes, even writing. This winter I was asked to participate in a little fun exercise that was very different, and not my “norm” for my writing self.

The story was to be a western historical very short piece. Two sentences were given: The shot rang out. I heard her scream at the same time the bottle crashed to the floor.

These sentences had to be used in this exact form—without any modification. The only “change” that was useable was the fact that they could come anywhere in the story, as long as they came together as shown here. And the story must be 500 words long—no longer. Mine came in at 497—and let me tell you, that was not easy for me!

It’s been a long time since I was this excited over something different like this—just something fun to try. There are 51 other participants as well–all published western authors–using these same two sentences. I’m so curious to see where this leads! The book will be sold for Kindle, but none of us are anticipating getting rich from it—whatever royalties it garners will go into a scholarship fund for a young writer. For me, the rewards were huge.

Also, keep your eyes peeled, as there’ll be one of these coming out each quarter. I just got my copy today, and plan to settle in this evening and see what everyone else wrote with their 500 words. My imagination took off, and I know my co-authors’ did, too.

I had such fun with this! Here it is—see what you think!

Two men, waiting for something. One of them is in for a huge surprise. What about the other one? Will he make it out alive?



“Let’s see…‘The shot rang out. I heard her scream at the same time the bottle crashed to the floor.’ That’s your story, right, fast gun?” Marshal Ferris smirked as he moved closer to the chair where his prisoner, Johnny Kilgore, was tied.

“Yeah,” Johnny muttered through split lips, blood streaming from the busted nose Ferris had given him. “It’s my story because that’s how it happened, pendejo.”

Ferris shot him a wary glance, unsure if he’d been insulted.

Johnny looked toward the narrow, barred window just in time to see a small hand disappear. Seeing things? Hoping for a miracle… He shook his head to clear it in the stifling air.

Ferris leaned down close, blocking Johnny’s view of the window. “You killed that woman, and you’re gonna admit it, you son of a bitch. We got all night. I can wait.” Ferris cracked his knuckles. Another vicious uppercut rocked Johnny’s head back. “You’re gonna write your confession.”

Who was the kid outside the window? Damn…why even think of that? I’ll be dead before midnight. There’s no help coming. No miracle for me…not this time… Wrong place, wrong time, just once too often…

He’d killed—but he’d never murdered a woman—especially not this one. Maria Lopez had been little more than a girl herself—and her scream from her upstairs room had been one of pure terror. By the time Johnny’d gotten to her, she was already dead. She wasn’t going to tell who did it, but Johnny had a fair idea from the dogged way Ferris kept after him about a confession.

Ferris crossed his arms. “It’s gonna be a long night. I got a powerful hunger. You just sit tight—I’ll be back after dinner. Just in time for you to confess…before you try to escape, and get killed doing it. Think about that while I’m gone,” he chortled as he walked away toward the outer office, banging the door shut like a death knell.

Johnny slipped his hands through the loose knots of the rope Ferris had tied him with. He untied his ankles, then stood and stumbled to the window. He told himself he didn’t believe in miracles anymore, but a pistol had been placed on the sill inside the bars—if that wasn’t a miracle, he didn’t know what was. He broke it open to be sure it was loaded. Six bullets.

“Señor.” The husky whisper with a hint of tears came from the outside wall. “Marshal Ferris killed my sister. I beg you…”

“Lo siento, m’ijo,” Johnny answered quietly. “I’ll do what I can. Thank you for this.”

The small hand appeared again, laying a hatpin on the ledge. His “key” to the cell door. Johnny smiled, even though it hurt.

One last miracle was his tonight, and with a little luck, he’d be halfway to the border by sunrise. After he killed Ferris.

He settled in behind the door. It’s gonna be a long night. But I can wait…

PROCEEDS GO TO A SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR A YOUNG WRITER SET UP BY SCOTT HARRIS. You can’t find a better reading bargain anywhere for only .99!


Arizona’s Mini Grand Canyon

Arizona’s historic Salt River Canyon is also called the Mini Grand Canyon. Last year in August on this blog I mentioned visiting Globe, Arizona, where I was lucky enough to take a tour of the haunted Drift Inn Saloon. When we left Globe that afternoon to return to Phoenix we took the scenic route through the canyon.










The drive offers breathtaking views from your car window. The route has several pull-offs along the way and I recommend stopping at every one. The drive is full of hairpin turns that take you down one wall of the canyon to the valley floor before crossing a scenic bridge and then climbing up the other side of the canyon. The area contains prehistoric petroglyphs and the Salt River is one of few rivers that flow through the saguaro cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert and offers over 200 species of wildlife.

There are no maintained trails in the canyon and about half of the outdoor enthusiasts who visit the area each year are skilled white-water navigators and ride the turbulent waters from March to May.



The Salt River Canyon is full of history and was used by Apache Warriors during the 1800s to hide from the U.S, Calvary troops. Today the river provides the border between the San Carlos Apache Reservation to the south and the White Mountain Apaches to the north.

Photo Credit                                                     Photo Credit


The famous Battle of Salt River Canyon took place in in 1872 and was part of the Tonto Basin Campaign and Yavapai War from 1871-1875. Thirty Apache scouts led the 5th Cavalry Regiment to a Yavapai stronghold in a canyon cave.

Photo Credit

The warriors refused to surrender and in the end seventy-six Yavapai were dead, including Chief Nanni-chaddi and several women and children. The bodies of the dead were left in the cave, which today is also known as Skeleton or Skull Cave and is believed to be haunted.



As much as I love nature and love seeing our beautiful country, I confess I’m not much of an outdoor enthusiast. I don’t mind taking a nature hike but you won’t catch me pitching a tent in a forest, riding white water rapids or climbing rocks. What about you?

Until Next Time…Happy Trails!

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We Have a Winner for Karen Kay’s E-book Give-away


Yes, we do have a winner for the e-book copy of THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF, and that winner is:

Jerri Lynn Hill

Many congratulations to you, Jerri Lynn.  Please contact me personally at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net — so we can set up getting the book to you.

Again, many thank you’s to all of you who came to the blog yesterday, and who left a comment.  I love them all.

May the rest of your week be happy and blessed.

Updated: April 11, 2018 — 8:26 am

In the Prairie Kitchen

We would be toast if we had to deal with a prairie kitchen!

Most of us, anyway.

You know it. I know it. We look around our very usable kitchens and long for beauty. We want pendant lights and food processors and espresso machines with built-in water lines and self-cleaning ovens, dishwashers and big, bold refrigerators!!! Even a small house tends to have a great kitchen if you consider the alternative of the prairie… and if Chip and Joanna would come and give us a makeover, we’d be over-the-moon!

Not exactly and easy ride to the corner grocery… oh, wait. There were no corner groceries! 🙂

A hand-made wooden table, not always sanded to our current super-smooth niceness. Wooden hooks on the wall to hold things. Rough-hewn shelves, tacked to the wall. Maybe a dirt floor, at least the first few years… a fireplace that didn’t keep things warm or a Franklin stove when times got better! Dried herbs and smoked sausages and leatherbritches (dried beans) and dried fruit (if there was time and some was available because fruit trees weren’t exactly abundant!) Can you imagine the art of cooking and baking over an open fire or a Franklin stove???

Barrels for supplies… if you could afford supplies! Flour… brown sugar… lamp oil… oats… a jug of molasses. If you have a root cellar dug out, some potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, saleratus, salt… what else would they have? Need? Can you imagine planning and implementing everything you need for a WHOLE WINTER? And here in the northeast, ice houses were prevalent, but then we live along big lakes…. Not always available on the prairie!

Oh my stars.

I love reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Farmer Boy” and how they prepared for winter for months… every month, every week had a chore to do to put enough food by to get through a year. And that was easy compared to the prairie because the Eastern Woodlands have nut trees… fruit trees…. berries…. maple trees for syrup…. great soil for vegetables….. and porkers could be either shot in the woods or raised in pens….


A big step up from a soddy!!!! Or a dugout!

The prairie had grass and gardens planted in thick sod initially…. it often took two years of turning and killing grass to get plots of garden land for veggies and you’d need a one or two-bottom plow to break sod…. and then it took a lot of work to turn it enough to keep the roots dying. That grass is strong!

Carving an existence. No matter how you look at it, it had to take a huge measure of strength to maintain through those first two years especially. No towns. No shops. Few neighbors to speak of.

So different.

So cool.

And the prize of 164 acres of land.

A glimpse of yesteryear, the Hornbeck Farmstead…

No running water… maybe a well… maybe trips to the creek. Wash tub outside in nice weather and you’d stir the clothing in the hot soapy water over a fire…. in the winter the tub was inside, probably not used as much, and the clothes were often “freeze-dried” in the cold, harsh winds… how good spring must have felt to those brave souls!

I think of them often… when I whine about what I’d like vs. what I need. When I grumble about having to load the dishwasher three times a day… 🙂 When I let laundry… washed and dried by MACHINE!!!!… sit, waiting to be folded.


You want to know why women never waited to fold laundry?

There wasn’t time to wait. Time to sit. Time to do much pondering life’s injustices…. because they were so busy building a nation!

Go them!

Go us!

Those women had to use their time wisely… we’re different. Modern medicine has given us more time. Healthier time. And we know that… so I wonder if we’re a little less careful about it? A little too relaxed about what needs to get done or about appreciating how good our lives truly are?

Something to talk about!

Good morning, all… My name’s Ruthy and I’m just sittin’ here, wonderin’ how we’d all fare in the prairie kitchen… what would you miss the most?

What might you love???

And for those of you who’ve never read my beautiful women’s fiction/romance stories, I have a copy of “Refuge of the Heart”, an absolutely beautiful 5-Star book that touches your heart… and stirs your soul.


Maggie Award-winning novel… absolutely beautiful.

Chatter a bit with me to have your name tossed into the prairie tea kettle!


Updated: April 4, 2018 — 12:36 pm

Amanda Cabot: Fort Robinson – A Story of Reinvention

Ready for a trip to northwestern Nebraska’s beautiful Pine Ridge area?  I hope so, because today we’re going to visit Fort Robinson, a former army post that’s the poster child for reinvention.

It all started with the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 in which the government agreed to provide food and supplies, what some called annuities, to the Native American tribes who agreed to live on reservations.  In 1873 the government established the Red Cloud Indian Agency at what is now Fort Robinson to distribute those annuities to Red Cloud’s Ogalala Sioux.  Unfortunately, not everything went as smoothly as some might have expected.  When nontreaty bands of Indians threatened the agency, demanding supplies, shots broke out, resulting in several deaths, including that of the acting agent.  But it was the death of Lt. Levi Robinson near Fort Laramie on February 9, 1874 that had the greatest impact on the area, since when troops were sent to establish a tent camp to protect the agency, they honored the lieutenant by naming it Camp Robinson.

Two months later, the camp was moved a mile and a half away from the original site, and tents were replaced by the permanent log and adobe buildings of what is now called the “old post.”

Primary responsibilities of the soldiers stationed at Camp Robinson were protecting the Red Cloud Agency and keeping the peace during the Indian wars.  As you might guess, that proved difficult, and the camp’s history includes the death of Crazy Horse, who was mortally wounded in a scuffle when resisting imprisonment in 1877, and the Cheyenne Breakout of 1879, which resulted in the deaths of 64 Cheyenne and eleven soldiers.

Though the Red Cloud Agency was relocated to a Missouri River site in 1877, Camp Robinson remained an important part of the western military, and in 1878, its permanence was recognized by renaming it Fort Robinson.

More changes were coming.  When the railroad reached the fort in 1887, the army expanded the post, creating what was in essence a new post, complete with a much larger parade ground and additional housing, all needed because it had become the regimental headquarters for the Ninth Cavalry, a unit of African American soldiers. 

Within a short time, Fort Robinson had surpassed Fort Laramie as the most important military post in the area.

Times changed, and by WWI the fort was all but abandoned.  Abandoned, but not forgotten, because in 1919, it became the quartermaster remount depot, providing horses and mules to the army.  When the army replaced horses and mules with motorized vehicles, Fort Robinson was once again in limbo.

Time for more reinvention.  From 1933 through 1935, it became a regional headquarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and during WWII it was not only a site for K-9 training but – more importantly – a camp for 3,000 German POWs.  After WWII, the USDA turned it into a beef research station, and then in the 1950s it had its final reinvention, emerging as Fort Robinson State Park, a place where you can not only learn about history but where you can also spend a night or two in the same buildings where the army once lived.

What does all this have to do with my new release?  Very little.  A Borrowed Dream takes place in the Texas Hill Country, not Nebraska’s Pine Ridge.  Its characters have no connection to the military.  But like the fort itself, they’ve had to reinvent themselves.  Catherine’s life has been shattered by her mother’s death and the realization that the man she had hoped to marry was fickle, while Austin has had to flee Philadelphia, abandoning his life as a successful surgeon to protect his daughter.  What choice do they have but to create new lives?

I hope you enjoyed reading about Fort Robinson and hope it’s piqued your interest.  And, of course, I hope you’re intrigued by the premise of

There is no such thing as an impossible dream . . .

 Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the local doctor’s treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

I’m offering a signed copy of it to one commenter. 

US addresses only.

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroads trilogy, A Stolen Heart, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.

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