western romance

The Bloodiest Trading Post in Kansas

 

E.E._Burke

Header for EEBURKE FINAL

tp postcard

 

 

 

Trading Post, Kansas, near the Marais Des Cygnes River, is about an hour down the highway from where I live. This unincorporated town is reputed to be the longest continuously occupied community in Kansas, established in 1825 as (you guessed it) a trading post with the Osage Indians.

For years I drove by this tiny spot on the map and had no idea of the monumental impact it had on this region and the whole United States.

In 1858, a brutal massacre on “free state” men occurred just a few miles away. John Brown built a cabin close by to protect fellow abolitionists and plotted vengeance on slave owners, which culminated with his raid on Harper’s Ferry Virginia, a year later. From trading post, Kansas Senator Jim Lane and his infamous Jayhawkers launched a retaliatory raid on southern sympathizers in Missouri in 1861.

All this from a little place called Trading Post.door to cabin

I stopped one day and visited the small museum there and found a few interesting artifacts. Here’s the door to the cabin built by John Brown, who vowed to protect “freestate men” in Kansas after the massacre.

Near the museum, a memorial to the massacre victims was erected.

memorial (1)

I also visited the site of the MARAIS DES CYNES MASSACRE, which inspired John Brown to greater violence, spurred Jim Lane to attack Missouri, and arguably lit the spark that started a Civil War.

Did you know?massacre image (1)

Kansas suffered the highest rate of fatal casualties of any Union state, largely because of its great internal divisions over the issue of slavery.

The bloodiest single incident in the Kansas-Missouri border struggles (1854-1861) occurred May 19, 1858, when thirty pro-slavery Missourians seized eleven Kansas ‘Free-State’ men and marched them to a creek bed near Trading Post. The eleven men were lined up execution style and promptly shot, apparently for no other reason than occupying land in a Free State.

The incident shocked the nation and galvanized abolitionists.

A few weeks later, John Brown arrived and built a two-story log “fort” (about 14 x 18 feet), which he occupied with a few men through that summer.  That December he led a raid into Missouri and liberated eleven slaves, killing one white man in the process. Ultimately, he took his fight east to Virginia, where after his ill-fated raid he was captured and hanged.

Later that same year, Kansans rejected a pro-slavery constitution and entered the Union as a “free state” in 1861.

curry print

A Brown follower bought Brown’s property near Trading Post and later, at the site of the fort, built a stone house that still stands there today. The building and grounds are now part of a State Historical Site.
fort site

Visiting this and other historical sites caught up in the bloody conflict, I thought about how the border conflict changed the lives of everyday people for decades to come.

The character of the hero in my upcoming novel, Fugitive Hearts, is shaped by this tragedy, which leads him down a path of vengeance first, and then to the pursuit of justice.

Read more about it here:

EEBurke_FugitiveHearts800 (2)

“Sheriff…I just shot my husband.”

Hotel owner Claire Daines is a respected member of the community. Until she shocks the entire town by rushing into a saloon wearing only her nightclothes and confessing to very inebriated lawman.

Is she a killer? Is she crazy? Or is she covering up something worse?

For years, Claire hushed up her husband’s dangerous condition to guard his reputation. When tragedy strikes, she puts her own life at risk when she vows to keep another terrible secret.

Sheriff Frank Garrity must get to the truth, although the tough, hard-drinking lawman hides his own secrets and would rather walk a lonely path than face his demons. But as Frank unravels Claire’s subterfuge and unlocks her heart, he’s torn between his desire to save her and his duty to bring her to justice.

Will he bring her to justice…or into his heart?

“Pure romance and passion that will steal your breath!”

Linda Broday, New York Times Best Selling Author

Coming July 28, 2015

Available for pre-order on Amazon

Other books in the series:

http://www.amazon.com/E.E.-Burke/e/B00EDYK9AU

Today, I’ll be giving away a free eBook in the Steam! Romance and Rails series: A Dangerous Passion. Just comment to enter the drawing.

Texas Ranger Badges: Fact or Fiction?

Kathleen Rice Adams header

Texas Ranger badges are a hot commodity in the collectibles market, but the caveat “buyer beware” applies in a big way. The vast majority of items marketed as genuine Texas Ranger badges are reproductions, facsimiles, or toys. Very few legitimate badges exist outside museums and family collections, and those that do hardly ever are sold. There’s a very good reason for that: Manufacturing, possessing, or selling Texas Ranger insignia, even fakes that are “deceptively similar” to the real thing, violates Texas law except in specific circumstances.

According to Byron A. Johnson, executive director of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum (the official historical center for the Texas Ranger law-enforcement agency), “Spurious badges and fraudulent representation or transactions connected with them date back to the 1950s and are increasing. We receive anywhere from 10 to 30 inquiries a month on badges, the majority connected with sales on eBay.”

If you had to, could you identify a legitimate Texas Ranger badge? Test your knowledge: Which of the alleged badges below are genuine? Pick one from each set. (All images are ©Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Waco, Texas, and are used with permission. All Rights Reserved.)

Set 1

1889Badge_130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

SpecialAgent130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

Answer: The left-hand badge, dated 1889, is the earliest authenticated Texas Ranger insignia in the collection of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. Badges weren’t standard issue for Rangers until 1935, although from 1874 onward, individual Rangers sometimes commissioned badges from jewelers or gunsmiths, who made them from Mexican coins. Relatively few Rangers wore a badge out in the open. As for the item on the right? There’s no such thing as a “Texas Ranger Special Agent.”

Set 2

FakeShield_130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

1938Badge_130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

Answer: On the right is an official shield-type badge issued between 1938 and 1957. Ranger captains received gold badges; the shields issued to lower ranks were silver. The badge on the left is a fake, though similar authentic badges exist.

Set 3

FrontierBattalionBadge_130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

1957Badge_130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

Answer: The badge on the right was the official badge of the Rangers from July 1957 to October 1962. Called the “blue bottle cap badge,” the solid, “modernized” design was universally reviled. The left-hand badge is a fake. According to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, “No genuine Texas Ranger badges are known to exist with ‘Frontier Battalion’ engraved on them.”

Set 4

1962Badge_130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

COF_130

©TRHFM, Waco, TX

Answer: The left-hand badge, called the “wagon wheel badge,” has been the official Texas Ranger badge since October 1962. Each is made from a Mexican five-peso silver coin. The badge on the right is a “fantasy badge.” According to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, the most common designation on such badges is “Co. A.”

How did you do? If you answered correctly for more than one without benefiting from a lucky guess, you did better than most people, including Texans. Give yourself extra points if you knew Rangers proved their legitimacy with Warrants of Authority, not badges, prior to 1935.

For more information about the Texas Rangers—including the history of the organization, biographical sketches of individual Rangers, and all kinds of information about badges and other insignia—visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum online at TexasRanger.org. The museum and its staff have my utmost gratitude for their assistance with this post. They do the Rangers proud.

 

While we’re on the subject of Rangers…

TheSecond-BestRangerInTexas_200x300On June 1, Western Fictioneers, a professional organization for authors of western novels and short stories, announced the winners of the 2015 Peacemaker Awards. Presented annually, the Peacemakers recognize the best western historical fiction published during the previous calendar year.

I’m happy to say “The Second-Best Ranger in Texas” received the award for Best Western Short Fiction. “The Second-Best Ranger in Texas” tells the story of a washed-up Texas Ranger and a failed nun who find redemption in love.

The award marked the second time in two years a short story published by Prairie Rose Publications has been honored with a Peacemaker: Livia J. Washburn’s “Charlie’s Pie” received the Best Western Short Fiction award in 2014.

Available in paperback and e-book

In addition, Prodigal Gun, also published by Prairie Rose, was named a finalist in the Best Western First Novel category. Prodigal Gun is the first novel-length romance ever nominated for a Peacemaker.

I don’t say any of that to brag…

Oh, heck. Who am I trying to kid? I’m bragging. (Sorry, Mom!)

There really is a larger point, though: I think the award and nomination are important, but not because the books are mine. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right stories. There’s a hint at something much broader here: At long last, it seems, romances of all lengths are being recognized as “respectable literature” outside the romance category. That’s good news for all of us who enjoy a genre too often scoffed at and snubbed by the larger community of authors and readers.

Over the past eighteen months, a number of books published by Prairie Rose Publications have been nominated for or received awards of all kinds. If that’s any indication, PRP is off to a great start. Founded in August 2013 by Livia Washburn Reasoner and Cheryl Pierson, the company is and always will be dedicated to publishing traditional westerns and western romance written by women. Nevertheless, in less than two years, PRP has expanded to include young adult, inspirational, paranormal, and medieval lines. The “little publishing company” releases some darn fine fiction. I’m proud it publishes mine.

 

To celebrate good fortune in so many areas of my life, I’ll gift a copy of “The Second-Best Ranger in Texas” to two folks who are brave enough to tell us how many of the badges above they identified correctly. To the comments with you!

 

 

Taking a Chance—a Big Chance—on Love & Book Giveaway

MargaretBrownley-header

“Did you ever wonder why we use the word engagement
to describe both a promise of marriage and a war battle?”-Undercover Bride

My June release Undercover Bride is a mail order bride story with a twist. Maggie Michaels is a Pinkerton detective working undercover to nab the Whistle-Stop Bandit. To do this she is posing as his mail order bride. The clock is ticking; if she doesn’t find the proof she needs to put him in jail, she could end up as his wife!

My heroine has a good reason for doing what she’s doing, but what about the thousands of other women during the 1800s who left family and friends to travel west and into the arms of strangers?

Shortage of Men

mailThe original mail order bride business grew out of necessity. The lack of marriageable women in the west was partly responsible, but so was the Civil War. The war created thousands of widows and a shortage of men.

As a result, marriage brokers and “Heart and Hand” catalogues popped up all around the country. Ads averaged five to fifteen cents and letters were exchanged along with photographs. It took ten days for a letter to travel by Pony Express and often the wax seals would melt in the desert heat, causing letters to be thrown away before reaching their destinations.

According to an article in the Toledo Blade a lonely men even wrote to the Sears catalogue company asking for brides (the latest such letter received was from a lonely Marine during the Vietnam War).

                                      Cultural Attitudes

wife

Marriage was thought to be the only path to female respectability. Anyone not conforming to society’s expectations was often subjected to public scorn. Women who had reached the “age” of spinsterhood with no promising prospects were more likely to take a chance on answering a mail order bride ad than younger women.

Not Always Love at First Sight

For some mail-order couples, it was love (or lust) at first sight. In 1886, one man and his mail order bride were so enamored with each other they scandalized fellow passengers on the Union Pacific Railroad during their honeymoon.

Not every bride was so lucky. In her book Hearts West, Christ Enss tells the story of mail order bride Eleanor Berry. En route to her wedding her stage was held up at gunpoint by four masked men. Shortly after saying “I do,” and while signing the marriage license, she suddenly realized that her husband was one of the outlaws who had robbed her. The marriage lasted less than an hour.

Men: Do Not Be Deceivedmail2

Women weren’t the only ones who could be duped. Ads popped up warning men not to be seduced by artificial bosoms, bolstered hips, padded limbs, cosmetic paints and false hair.

Despite occasional pitfalls, historians say that most matches were successful. That’s because the ads were generally honest, painfully so in some cases. If a woman was fat and ugly she often said so. If not, photographs didn’t lie (at least not before Photoshop came along).

There may have been another reason for so much married bliss. A groom often signed a paper in front of three upstanding citizens promising not to abuse or mistreat his bride. She in turn promised not to nag or try to change him.

No one seems to know how many mail order brides there were during the 1800s, but the most successful matchmaker of all appears to be Fred Harvey who, by the turn of the century, had married off 5000 Harvey girls.

Okay, since it’s almost June and I’ve got brides on my mind how about sharing a wedding memory, either your own or someone else’s?  It can be funny, sweet, nightmarish or just plain special.  Fair warning: anything you say could be used in a book!  If all else fails just stop by and say hello and I’ll put your name in the old Stetson.

undercovertiny

Wild West Guns and Grins or How the West Was Fun

 Another Pinkerton Lady Detective is on the case. This time the female operative masquerades as a mail-order bride. Pretty funny overall plot to begin with, so expect some fun reading while the detective team attempts to unmask a pair of train robbers and murderers. That’s how Margaret Brownley writes. Western mystery with humor rolling throughout, like tumbleweeds on Main Street.

                                                           -Harold Wolf on Amazon

Amazon

B&N

 

First Petticoats & Pistols Giveaway of Now and Forever

Now and Forever Book #2 of the Wild at Heart Series is now shipping from Amazon!

To celebrate it’s release I’m posting an excerpt and giving away a signed copy to one lucky commentor. (please try and think of yourself as lucky!)

Matt Tucker could take people for only so long and then he had to get up in the mountains, all the way up where he was more likely to run into a golden eagle than a man. He’d wander in the thin pure air for a week or two, to clear his thoughts. Forget the smell and behavior of men.

This time it wasn’t men driving him to the high-up peaks. This time it was a certain head full of dark curls and a pair of shining blue eyes. Not a man—though no one would admit it—which was so odd he almost turned around.

In fact he wanted to turn around so bad he walked faster.

            He scooted past a boulder—and stomped on the toe of a bear cub.

A squall drew his eyes down. A roar dragged them up. He looked into the gaping maw of an angry mama grizzly. He hadn’t heard her or smelled her. Honestly, that was so careless and stupid he almost deserved to die.

            She swung a massive paw and he had no time to dodge. She knocked him over the side of that mountain. Not a cliff, but the next thing to it. He slammed into an aspen.

He bounced off and plummeted.

The next Aspen hit so hard his ribs howled in pain. He snagged. His arms, legs and back whipped forward but his haversack held. It saved him.

That’s when he heard a roar. It brought his head around.

The mama wasn’t satisfied with knocking him off a mountain. She was coming, and coming fast, finding a way down somehow.

Finally he slammed into level ground and stopped, sprawled flat on his back. He flickered his eyes open, knowing he had to get up and run. The bear was coming.

            His blurred vision filled with a cap of dark curls and the prettiest blue eyes he’d ever seen.

            Well, no. Not ever.

            Because he’d seen them before on the roof of Aaron and Kylie Masterson’s cabin. He wanted to just lay there and look forever.

            And then that dratted bear roared and those blue eyes, looking at him all worried, turned uphill and changed from concern to horror.

            The pretty little gal reached down, grabbed Tucker by the front of his shirt, and hauled him upright. What was she going to do, throw him over her shoulder and run? He didn’t think that was going to work. He was about six inches taller and outweighed her by a hundred pounds.

            But Mama Grizz was coming, so someone was going to have to do something. They couldn’t stay here, and Tucker wasn’t sure he was up to moving. Of course he’d only had about two second to think about it. He hadn’t really tried.

            “Hang on!” She shoved him backward, clinging so tight it was like he’d gotten a second pack hooked on.

            She screamed.

            They flew. There was no more rolling. No more aspens. No more rocks. They soared.

            Tucker saw the walls of the cliff rushing past and knew where they were. Worse yet, he knew where they were going to land. “Are you crazy?”

             They were falling to almost certain death. He’d just been killed by a woman as crazy as he was. Well, he wasn’t killed yet. But it was only a few minutes ahead of them.

            The bear roared overhead.

            The dark curled madwoman shouted, “I hope Bailey’s not too stubborn to tend my sheep.”

            “I hate sheep.”

            They hit the water so hard it was like slamming into granite.

 

Mary Connealy
Mary Connealy

Except over….Mary again.

Well, things only get worse for poor Tucker and Shannon right along with him. They’re a long while saving themselves and as a reward for doing it??? It turns out they spent five days alone together, day and night. Only a wedding will do.

It’s a lot of fun this adventure with Shannon and Tucker. Give it a chance.

 

NOW AND FOREVER

Saddle up for romance and adventure with the Wilde sisters!

Shannon Wilde is the middle sister–and the one who loves animals. She’s established her own homestead and is raising sheep for their wool. Things are going fine…until Shannon gets swept over a cliff by Matthew Tucker!

Tucker seizes every opportunity to get away from civilization, but one particular walk in the woods ends with him sprinting away from an angry grizzly and plunging into a raging river, accidentally taking Shannon Wilde with him. Their adventure in the wilderness results in the solitary mountain man finding himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.

As Tucker and Shannon learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon’s land. Someone clearly wants to drive her off, but whoever it is apparently didn’t count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad–and trying to hurt the woman he’s falling in love with sets off something even he never expected.

 

Gone Fishing . . . And Giveaway

newsletter_headerjpg - 2

This week I am in Dallas at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. It is a giant conference for readers who love romance. I’ve never attended before, but I’m excited about the chance to participate. There are several other inspirational romance authors who will be there, and we are planning to host several workshops including an author panel, a fun reader Pictionary event called Saddle Up and Draw, and a chocolate party hosted by my publisher.

Since I am out of pocket today, I won’t be available to respond to comments, but I have a great incentive for you to leave one anyway. I’ll be giving away two contemporary western romances by the fabulous Robin Lee Hatcher to one commenter. Winner will be chosen on Sunday. (US addresses only)

Love Without EndWhenever You Come Around

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So for your chance to win, and since I’m at a booklover’s convention, tell me what your favorite type of romance storyline is.

Some examples could be:

  • Mail-order bride/marriage of convenience
  • Reformed rake/outlaw
  • Beauty and the beast – wounded hero
  • Cinderella story – downtrodden heroine rises above circumstances
  • Governess/widower needs woman to care for children
  • Love triangle

    Horses Beach Sunset

    Photo Credit: sahuaroshores via Compfight cc

  • Friends to lovers
  • Enemies/rivals to lovers
  • Amnesia
  • Blackmail/revenge
  • Fish out of water
  • Forbidden love
  • Guardian/ward
  • Opposites attract
  • Ugly duckling
  • Unrequited Love
  • Stranded together
  • Damsel in distress
  • Disguise – heroine dressed as a boy

I’m sure there are many more, and if you’re like me, you probably have many favorites on the list. All I need is one to enter you in the drawing.

Have fun!!!

Guest Susan Page Davis: East Vs. West

Susan Page DavisBeing an Eastern girl, when I married a westerner and moved to Oregon, I noticed a lot of things were different in the West.

For instance, things are a lot farther apart in the West.

It’s true—towns, trees, everything is more spread out in the West than in the East, particularly in contrast to New England, where I grew up.

A corollary to this is: People are willing to travel farther. It seemed to me that folks in Oregon were willing to drive a hundred miles at the drop of a hat.

Another thing: When I moved to Oregon, I thought nothing there was more than 200 years old, but then I discovered that the West has ancient things, too. Older than the Viking runes in Maine.

I won’t even start on the snakes.

But the reptiles in general—well, they’re different. Once in Idaho, my kids started squealing and laughing and hopping around when they saw a little lizard. A native Idahoan expressed surprise at their antics.

Outlaw Takes a Bride“We don’t have lizards where we come from, and they’ve never seen one before,” I explained.
“Where are you from?” she asked.
I said, “Maine.”
The woman blinked. “You mean Main Street?”
I said, “No, the state of Maine.”
She said. “I don’t know where that is.”
I said. “Oh. Don’t they teach you that in school?” I mean, really. WE knew where Idaho was.

I’m sure most people west of the Mississippi know about the East. This was probably a rare specimen I was talking to. Anyway, things are different on the two sides of the country. Trust me.

Okay, I’ll say one thing about snakes. In Maine, we didn’t have poison ones. And that’s all I’m saying about that.

My newest book is a western, and I hope you enjoy it. In The Outlaw Takes a Bride, Johnny Paynter flees Denver to escape being hanged for a murder he didn’t commit. At his brother Mark’s ranch in Texas, where he thought he could take refuge, he finds his brother dead. Johnny strongly resembles his brother, and the people in town think he is Mark. Reluctantly at first, Johnny assumes Mark’s identity. But what will he do when he learns Mark has been corresponding with a widow in St. Louis? Sally Golding is en route to be a mail-order bride to Mark. Johnny must decide whether or not to go through with the wedding, posing as his brother. How will a marriage survive amid this deception?

I’m giving away a print copy of this book, The Outlaw Takes a Bride.

Click on the book cover to order from Amazon!


Susan Page DavisSusan Page Davis is the author of more than fifty published novels and novellas. Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest. She lives in western Kentucky. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com

 

Twice a Texas Bride – Book Release and GIVEAWAY!

sceneryWhat price would you pay for love? Would you risk everything?

IT’S FINALLY HERE! Twice a Texas Bride is officially out.

Book two of the Bachelors of Battle Creek series features middle brother Rand Sinclair. I knew he had a powerful story to tell when I introduced him in Texas Mail Order Bride, but I didn’t know how fiercely he’d fight for the woman he loves. Or what he was willing to risk.

ONE CHANCE. ONE LOVE.

ONE OUTLAW WHO’S COMING FOR THEM.

Former saloon owner, Rand Sinclair, finally has his dream—land and a ranch. He knows two certainties—he’ll never fall in love again. Never Marry. Everyone in his life always walks out on him—from his parents to every woman he took a chance with and opened his heart to. No more pain and crushing disappointment. He’s closed his heart.

Twice a Texas BrideIn the dead of winter, he discovers a woman and six-year-old boy hiding in one of his outbuildings. They’re half-frozen and starving. He takes them into his home, feeds them and gets them warm. One look at Callie Quinn tells Rand she’s running from something or someone. He can’t send her back out in the cold. So he offers her a job cooking for him and the future ranch hands he intends to hire.

In the days and weeks that follow, he learns a killer outlaw is after her and the boy. Rand assures Callie that whoever wants to harm her will have to go through him—and that will be a mighty tough job.

While Rand fights his attraction for her and knows that he’s losing, the outlaw Nate Fleming finds them and demands the boy, saying he’ll let Callie live if they’ll hand him over. Rand pushes all his chips to the center of the table.

He risks everything…his name…his heart… his life for the woman who’s awakened a fierce hunger for love.

Locked in a desperate battle to rid themselves of the outlaw’s special brand of terror, he reaches deep inside for every weapon in his arsenal.

One of them will die. Who will it be?

I hope you’ll take this thrilling journey with me in this story of learning to trust again, of taking one more chance, of defeating the odds.

What would you do, or have done, for love? What would you risk? Would you wager everything you have?

To celebrate the release, I’m giving away five copies (your choice of print or ebook) of TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE!

Visit me at: www.LindaBroday.com (sign up for my newsletter)
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/linda.broday1
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/lindabrodayauthor
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/lbroday

Linda Hubalek Introduces Brides With Grit

2015 header1

Linda_HubalekHello from the Kansas prairie! I’m honored to be a guest blogger on Petticoats and Pistols today, because this site features a group of authors I’ve admired for a long time.

 

Today I’m blogging about my new historical romance series, Brides with Grit. Set in the Ellsworth, Kansas area during 1873, the town’s top cattle drive year, these sweet western romances combine sweet clean love stories with cowtown history.

 

I also live close, so it was handy for me to explore the area, and envision the vast herds of cattle that dotted the hills almost a century and a half ago.
Ellsworth-1873One can find a vast amount of information on the internet about the cattle drives which went through Kansas in the 1870’s. Here’s some interesting tidbits, written by F. B Streeter in 1935, for an article in the Kansas Historical Quarterly.
As a means of advertising the new trail and the shipping points on the line, the Kansas Pacific issued a pamphlet and map entitled, Guide Map of the Great Texas Cattle Trail from Red River Crossing to the Old Reliable Kansas Pacific Railway. The writer has located only two editions of this pamphlet: one issued in 1872, the other in 1875. To quote from the 1875 edition:


Drovers are recommended to make Ellis, Russell, Wilson’s, Ellsworth and Brookville the principal points for their cattle for the following reasons: Freedom from petty annoyances of settlers, arising from the cattle trespassing upon cultivated fields, because there is wider range, an abundance of grass and water, increased shipping facilities and extensive yard accommodations. Large and commodious hotels may be found in all these places, and at Ellsworth, especially, the old “Drovers’ cottage,” so popular with the trade for years, will be found renovated and enlarged.

Drovers Cottage-1872

 

Ellsworth became the principal shipping point for Texas cattle on the Kansas Pacific Railroad in 1872. The first three droves of longhorns that season arrived in Ellsworth early in June. These droves numbered 1,000 head each. Two weeks later a total of twenty-eight herds, numbering from 1,000 to 6,000 head each, had arrived and many more were on the way. The fresh arrivals contained a total of 58,850 head of longhorns. These, together with over 40,000 head which had wintered in the county, made a total of more than 100,000 head of Texas cattle in Ellsworth county. 


That season 40,161 head were transported from Ellsworth, or one fourth of the total number marketed over the Kansas Pacific…Besides those shipped by rail from Ellsworth, about 50,000 head were driven to California and the territories from that place. In the months of June and July more than 100,000 head of beef and stock cattle changed hands at Ellsworth. Drovers found buyers on their arrival, enabling them to close out at a good price and return to their homes.

 

The prices paid for cattle that season were as follows: $19 to $22 for beeves; $15 to $18 for three-year-olds; $9 to $10 for two-year olds; $12 for cows; and $6 for yearlings.
My first thought on reading this? Wow! That’s a lot of cattle to surround the little town.
My second? Dust, manure and flies…and a good setting for a western romance…
cattle drive

The first three books in the eight book series are available now on Amazon, and more titles will be released during the year. Here’s the titles and taglines for the first five books.

brides wit grit-wood frame

Rania Ropes a Rancher – Book 1

She can ride, rope, handle livestock and children—and he wants her as his ranch wife. But will danger rip them apart, or rope them together?

Millie Marries a Marshal – Book 2

This mail-order bride arrives to find out her groom has died! So, she moves into the town marshal’s house—and into his heart.

Hilda Hogties a Horseman – Book 3

She bought his homestead out from under him with her horse race winnings…and now he wants it back.

Cora Captures a Cowboy – Book 4

She has just days to convince the cowboy into marrying her, or its back to Boston as another man’s bride.”

Sarah Snares a Soldier – Book 5

She leaves her groom at the altar, because there’s a soldier who has snared her heart. But can she catch him as he marches away?

* * *

Sound interesting? I’ve had fun writing these stories, so I hope you’ll enjoy reading them too—without having to worry about the dust, manure and flies…
What’s your first thought when you hear the words “cattle drive?”

Please leave a comment for a chance to win one of two Kindle copies of Rania Ropes a Rancher.
Many thanks from the Kansas prairie…
where I’m writing love stories for you to enjoy

Linda Hubalek

Website | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

 

Linda_HubalekLinda K. Hubalek lives in Kansas and writes endearing historical fiction and romance stories about the strong pioneer women who homesteaded on the Kansas prairie during the 1800’s.

Jodi Thomas: ONE TRUE HEART


jodi-thomas
As I began work on ONE TRUE HEART, I knew my hero would be a very intelligent man living in a little cabin in TwistedOne True Heart2
Creek, a lake community near Harmony in the map in my head.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if this man had a nutty sister who believed she could see the future?  You know the type:  Sweet, but not in the mainstream of anything.  We’ve all got one in our family.  I looked around and didn’t see one in my family so I must be it.

Running through the stories of Harmony I’ve always had a bookstore on the main street.  One night, while I was writing, I noticed a sign in the corner between two over-crowded shelves that advertised palm readings the only night the bookstore was open.  As the stories went along the sign would change.  Once it read:  Fortunes, two hands for the price of
one.

Sooo, in the corners of my mind I knew that one day I’d have to put a fortune teller in Harmony.  Two years ago I was in a fortune teller dolldelightful little second hand store in Denison.  I noticed a beautiful hand-made doll, a fortune teller complete with cards in her hand and dice in her box tied to her waist.  The doll traveled all over Texas with me while I was signing and finally made it home to my desk.

I had so much fun researching gypsy fortune tellers and learned much about the fascinating British Romani people. I especially enjoyed reading about the different types of gypsy wagons. My favorite is the Vardo horse-drawn gypsy wagon and you can view a beautiful one at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LPnAYm9d4g.

While my hero, Drew, is trying to live his normal life, maybe even get a date with a fascinating woman who has returned to Harmony to recover, his little sister is making his life impossible.  You see, she was reading a man’s fortune when the sheriff arrested him for killing his wife.  She’s the only one who believes Johnny Wheeler is innocent, because she didn’t see murder in his past.  Kare defends Johnny and drives him insane while she drags her quiet, reluctant brother into a mystery that might get them all killed.

You’ll have to read to find out…unless you are a fortune teller, of course.

Even after over 40 books, I often feel like I step into a story as if it’s already a place in my mind.  I meet theJodi office 2 people just like my readers do and some nights I stay up writing late because I want to know what is going to happen. I don’t know if I’d believe a fortune teller, but I do believe in the magic of creativity.

I do hope you will enjoy ONE TRUE HEART, so be sure to pre-order your copy at my website at www.jodithomas.com.

You can also pre-order here at Amazon.

I would love to give away an autographed copy of ONE TRUE HEART to one lucky reader. I look forward to chatting with you.

Happy reading!

Jodi Thomas

www.jodithomas.com

www.facebook.com/JodiThomasAuthor

www.twitter.com/jodithomas

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015