Stalked…

Howdy!  And welcome to another terrific Tuesday!  Since RED HAWK’S WOMAN has just been published on Amazon, I’ll be giving away a free e-book of RED HAWK’S WOMAN, complete with a previously deleted scene.

Stalked…

Have any of you ever been stalked?  Well, today I’m going to depart from my more usual Native American blogs to tell you a true story.  If you guessed it’s about being stalked, you’re right.

It’s my own story…

Don’t think I blogged about this last year.  I think I said something about it, but not the entire episode, so I thought I’d go back to about this time last year, and a story that continues to send chills up and down my spine.

I love this time of year.  Something about the scent of the leaves in the air and the leaves falling that is so beautiful.  And so this story rather flies in the face of that love — if only because it had happened last year, about mid-October, and now again this year in November.

Last year it centered around our dog, who is part collie and part…well, we don’t know — something big, though.  But our dog is beautiful and a good friend, but he’s a bit of a woose — if you know what I mean.  It happened in the evening when it was very dark out, and my husband was out of town.  I had come home to walk the dog and I couldn’t find his leash.  I finally found it wrapped extraordinarily neatly around a tie in the ground.  And when I say neatly, I mean extra neatly.  Even I, later during the day, couldn’t wrap it so neatly around that tie.

Not thinking too much about it, I took the dog for a walk and came back and began to feel chills up and down my spine.  Then I remembered that the previous day, his leash (which we had kept outside then) had been very, very neatly tied in a gorgeous knot.  At the time, I hadn’t thought much about it, but then it occurred to me that only a human hand could have tied that knot, or wound that leash around a tie in the ground as neat as a pin.

Not wishing to be at a disadvantage, I ran into the house, got out my gun and  took out a magazine as fast as I could.  Then it occurred to me that perhaps I should call the police.

I think it’s a tribute to the police that someone did come to the house and have a look at what was going on.  But there wasn’t much to go on, except that during all of this, our dog didn’t let out so much as a peep.  And he’s a big dog.

This was on a Friday.  On Saturday, I went and bought a surveillance system and put it up myself.  I put signs up on our property saying that the system was up and running.

The next morning I awoke to the vision of our huge pots that had tomatoes and peppers in them, being turned over and dragged over the ground.  Someone had been angry.  I also found that the surveillance system’s wires had been disconnected.

Another call to the police and this time a report filed since damage had now been done to the property.  Still, I thought that I was fairly safe.  I am trained on how to shoot and hit a target, so I wasn’t too worried.  Except the next day, I found our dog’s leash tied again very, very neatly — only this time in a noose.

That did it.  I figured that was a real threat.  I got myself to a safe place, and waited for my husband to return.  Upon his return he put up a huge, complex surveillance system and he put up bright lights all around our house that still, to this day, shine 24/7.

It all stopped.  Yea.  I thought it had come to an end.

And then today happened.  My husband is again out of town.  We have a white fence in front of our home.  I’d put a little fall display out there — just for the beauty of it.  You know, the flowers or shrubs, the corn cobs, and I’d put 5 pumpkins all in a nice row, next to the shrubs and flowers.  About 3 days ago I noticed that one of the pumpkins was gone and I thought I was going to buy another one soon — just to put the beauty back in place.  Last night I had come home late, due to birthday parties and such, and noticed the pumpkin gone again, and thought that tomorrow, I really had to go and buy another pumpkin.

So this morning as I was pulling out of my drive, on my way to work, I noticed that the pumpkin was back — neatly, extremely neatly put back exactly in the place where it had once been.  But it looked different.

The stem had been pulled off complete — not cut off — pulled off and the pumpkin was skinned…skinned.  Now that’s hard to do.   But it had been done, and then placed exactly where it had once been.

The stalker is back.

So I’m again in a safe place, and awaiting my husband to come home soon.  But it is freaky.  Really freaky.

I guess my question to you is — have you ever been stalked?  I must admit that I don’t like this at all.  In fact, I think the whole thing is rather sick, and the person doing it is quite insane, which is also scary.

So…what do you think?  What would you do?  Let me know.  Leave a comment.

 

 

 

Karen Kay
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the author of 17 American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules for all contest rules.
Updated: November 6, 2017 — 9:51 pm

The Only Female Recipient of the Medal of Honor

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here.

One of the writer-related questions I get most often is where do my ideas come from. The answer is a bit complex. As a writer, I see stories everywhere – in snippets of conversation, in song lyrics, in throwaway scenes from movies and TV shows and just from everyday life. But story ideas are also very fragile – they can disappear like mist when the sun beats down or like dream fragments once you’re fully awake.

So, whenever I get an idea for a new story, even if it’s just for a character or scene, I’ll set up a document in my Ideas folder to capture it before it gets away. From time to time I’ll go back in and add to one or more of the files, depending on what snags my interest at the time. And eventually one of these ideas will tell me it’s ready to be turned into a full blown book.

All of the above is backdrop to explain that one of these idea files contained a snippet of a story set in the late 19th century with a female doctor in the lead role. Of course a story like this requires a lot of research – questions such as what educational options were available for women and where could these be found, how well received were female doctors, what difficulties would they have faced due to their gender and just in general what medical treatments and a medical practice looked like during that time period.

And as often happens, while I was happily ensconced in researching some of this, I stumbled upon an unexpected and totally intriguing story about a fascinating woman.  Her name was Mary Walker. She was born in 1832, in upstate New York to parents who encouraged all of their children to pursue formal education. Mary took full advantage of her parents’  ideals and at the age of 25 graduated from Syracuse Medical School  with a doctor of medicine degree – she was the only woman in her class.  She then went into private practice and eventually married another physician, Dr. Albert Miller. However, in an action that was typical of her fierce independent spirit, she retained her maiden name. Eventually, she and Miller divorced due to his alleged infidelity.

When the Civil War broke out, Mary wanted to serve in the army as a surgeon, but because she was a woman she was unable to do so. Not willing to give up, she worked for free in a temporary hospital in Washington D.C.   From there she moved on to Virginia, treating the wounded at numerous field hospitals throughout the area.  Finally, in 1863, her medical credentials were acknowledged and she was appointed as a War Department surgeon. A year later she was captured by the Confederate Army and remained their prisoner for about four months.

 

 

In 1865, Dr. Walker became the first woman to ever be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, an acknowledgement for her services during the Civil War.

Mary’s unconventional life extended past her service during the war.  She was an active and vigorous proponent of women’s rights.  She became an author and a lecturer, focusing on issues such as temperance, health care and dress reform.  And putting action to her words, she could often be seen garbed in bloomers or even men’s trousers and  a top hat. Dr. Walker was a member of the Woman’s Suffrage Bureau in Washington D.C. and testified before committees in the US House of Representatives on woman’s suffrage issues.

In 1917 her name, along with 910 others, was stricken from the list of Medal of Honor recipients. The reason given was that none of these had ever officially served in the military. However, despite orders to return her medal, Mary refused and continued to wear it for the remainder of her life. She passed away in 1919 at the age of 86.

But that’s not the end of Dr. Walker’s story.  In 1977, thanks to efforts made by her family who pushed for a Congressional reappraisal of her accomplishments, President Jimmy Carter restored her medal posthumously. She is one of only six people to have this honor restored after it was rescinded. And to date she is still the only female to ever have this medal awarded to her.

So what do you think of this very unorthodox woman? Is there something about her life that particularly intrigued you?  Comment on this post for a chance to win an advance copy of my upcoming December release Once Upon A Texas Christmas.

ONCE UPON A TEXAS CHRISTMAS

Partners for the Holidays 

Abigail Fulton is determined to find independence in Turnabout, Texas—and becoming manager of the local hotel could be the solution. But first, she must work with Seth Reynolds to renovate the property by Christmas—and convince him she’s perfect for the job. If only he hadn’t already promised the position to someone else… 

Ever since his troubled childhood, Seth yearns to prove himself. And this hotel is his best chance. But what does someone like Abigail know about decor and furnishings? Yet the closer the holiday deadline gets, the more he appreciates her abilities and her kindness. His business ambitions require denying Abigail’s dearest wish, but can they put old dreams aside for a greater gift—love and family?

 

 

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Winnie Griggs
Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.

Keli Gwyn Has Winners!

Thank you for visiting, Miss Keli! We’re all traveling (in our dreams if nothing else!)

It’s time for the random drawing!!!!

An autographed copy of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers goes to………

CINDY WOOLARD

SALLY SHUPE

Yippee! I’m doing the happy dance for you ladies! Miss Keli will contact you for your mailing particulars so be watching.

Felicia Filly
When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.
Updated: November 5, 2017 — 11:14 am

Julie Benson’s Winner

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat about their favorite fall traditions.

The winner of the pumpkin and a copy of Home On The Ranch: Colorado is:

Stephanie Jenkins Ortiz Cerillo

Congratulations, Stephanie. Please contact me privately at Julie@juliebenson.net to let me know your address.
Again, thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat. I loved hearing from you.

 

Julie Benson
Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.
Updated: November 3, 2017 — 10:37 am

Ruthy’s Winners!!!!

There are TWO winners from Ruthy’s post “Weaving with Words, Ridin’ With Spurs”. Winners of a copy of are Janine and Carol Luciano! Who happened to post back to back! Gals, e-mail me with your snail mail addresses!

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Ruth Logan Herne
Multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne lives on a small farm in Western New York surrounded by grown kids, cute grandkids, cats, dogs, chickens, frogs, toads and snakes. That's why writing Westerns doesn't scare her. Not one smidge. Because she's surrounded by critters of all sorts, and has been known to teach lessons on snakes as available... She started writing Westerns by accident/invitation, and L-O-V-E-D it... matched with her love for both historicals and contemporaries, Ruthy's working on a new Western series for Love Inspired, New England mysteries for Guideposts and her historical Westerns for the indie market in 2018. She loves God, her family, her country and absolutely, positively loves what she does!
Updated: November 3, 2017 — 2:31 pm

Welcome Guest – Keli Gwyn

 

When—and Where—Leland Stanford Hit the Mother Lode

You might be familiar with the name Leland Stanford, founder of Leland Stanford Junior University. Perhaps you know that Stanford, Sr. was one of the “Big Four” who founded the Central Pacific Railroad, part of the transcontinental railroad that linked east and west. As a native Californian, I also know that Stanford was one of the Golden State’s early governors.

Leland Stanford as a young man

What I didn’t know is where Stanford got the money that funded his many ventures. Well, I didn’t, that is, until I wrote my final Love Inspired Historical, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, which releases this month. My research provided the answer.

Stanford passed his bar exam in 1848 and left his native New York for Wisconsin, where he practiced law for three years. In 1852, he headed west to California, where his brothers had opened a shop for miners in Cold Springs, just down the road from where I worship today at Cold Springs Community Church. Although that shop didn’t do well, the Stanford brothers did end up making a good deal of money selling supplies to miners.

Leland Stanford later in life

In 1859, Leland Stanford took the Union Mine in the town of Sutter Creek as payment for a customer’s debt, renaming it the Lincoln Mine. He was ready to write the mine off as a loss, but Robert Downs, the mine foreman, persuaded Stanford to give the mine one last chance.

Listening to Downs was one of the wisest moves Stanford made. Within a year, a major vein of ore was tapped, and the Lincoln Mine began to produce. Between 1860 and 1873, over $2.2 million in gold was taken out. Stanford eventually sold his interests for $400,000.

Sutter Creek 1853

Stanford used his proceeds from his Sutter Creek mining endeavor to help fund the Central Pacific Railroad, which contributed even more to his growing wealth. He went on to become the first Republican governor of California and serve as a U.S. Senator. As mentioned earlier, he and his wife founded Leland Stanford Junior University, where my retired teacher husband earned his Master’s in Education.

Discovering Stanford’s ties to the small Gold Rush town of Sutter Creek was a wonderful surprise. I enjoyed working this historic figure into Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, which is set there.

Sutter Creek Main St west

This story will be my last because I’m retiring from writing so I can spend more time with my great guy. The first big adventure my husband and I embarked on after I turned in my final edits was to take a road trip to Colorado. We saw some great places on the way there and back. I foresee more trips in my future.

I have two copies of the book to offer as a prize. To enter the giveaway, which runs through November 4, answer one of the following questions in a comment.

  • If you retired, what would be one of your first adventures?
  • If you’re already retired, what was your first major undertaking?

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A Christmas Match 

The best Christmas possible—that’s what Lavinia Crowne intends to provide before taking her orphaned nieces and nephew home to Philadelphia. But carrying out her plan may be harder than she expects, with their handsome, stubborn uncle, Henry Hawthorn, insisting on raising the children in rough-and-tumble Sutter Creek, California. Lavinia can’t bear to lose her late sister’s children, though, or go against her father’s demand to bring them home.

Henry believes his nieces and nephew need affection and security more than a lavish lifestyle. But as the children conspire to bring their aunt and uncle together, a new vision fills his head—of future Christmases spent with sweet, determined Lavinia and their growing family. Can three little matchmakers, and the spirit of the season, bring the gift of a very happy beginning?

Guest Blogger

Weaving with Words, Riding with Spurs…

Weaving creates an image, doesn’t it? No matter how you apply the word, we envision yarn or threads being moved in lock-stitch by hand or machine. We see the flash of success as the weft threads pass through the warp threads, and a foot treadle bounces the threads up and down in clockwork precision.

That’s kind of what it’s like when we write a story.

Umm… NOT THE PRECISION PART!!!!

I’m a pantser, a writer who begins with the idea of how I see the story and characters and then I create… and I add and subtract as I go. Not all writers work like this, some like notes, charts, timelines, etc… I do better by avoiding all that as completely as I can.  But what all authors have in common is the weaving of the word… and when I’m writing a Western (like my upcoming Shepherd’s Crossing series with Love Inspired or my Double S Ranch series with Waterbrook) I weave with a different set of threads. Some are coarser. Some are thicker. Some are rugged because carving a living off the land requires not only skill but fortitude. And I love folks with fortitude! (I just listened to the full recording of Peace in the Valley this weekend… Barbara McCullch did a great job with this Western and the character voices!)

I want my Westerns to sound authentic. Not contrived. Not over-done. If a rancher is educated, I want them to sound that way with a distinct twang as needed. 🙂 There’s nothing like an Ivy League educated cowboy (Colt Stafford “Back in the Saddle”) that comes across when he faces the heroine and does nothing more that touch the tip of his index finger to the brim of his hat.

No words needed.

🙂

He said it all with one gesture, a gesture he wouldn’t have used in Lower Manhattan but one that is quite effective in Central Washington. Colt’s a coming home character, a man returning to his roots out of necessity, a man surprised to find he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be… at last.

Mary Connealy taught me years ago that cowboys aren’t generally the talkative type. She’s right.

Like so many hard-working men, they grunt a lot, and then they’re surprised when those around them are at a loss to read their feelings. And then you go and read a Paul Harvey poem “So God Made a Farmer” and you realize you need to go beyond words, to actions.

There’s a book that talks about love languages, and it’s so stinkin’ true in many ways… not all people speak in poetic license.

A lot of men have to choke out “I’m sorry” or “I love you”… the dolts! 🙂

But sometimes those same men will go the distance to make sure the wagon seat is smooth enough to not snag a pretty dress…

Or extra warm potatoes to keep a historical heroine’s feet from taking a chill…

Or run to school to pick up a sick child of a single mother so she doesn’t lose her job at the diner…

Or dig the grave for his daddy’s old Golden Lab, gone home to heaven. I love that scene in “Saint Maybe” and used a similar scene in one of my first books “Waiting Out the Storm”… because acts of sacrifice transcend genre and touch a reader’s heart and soul.

There are so many ways to show emotion as we write. Some require few words. Some require a pause in the action. A long moment. Unshed tears. Or gut-wrenching sobs…

While others show the frontier or pure country joy… a single flower, tucked in a Mason jar on the heroine’s table. A pair of pumpkins, set on a porch with a tuft of corn by their side. A walk with a calf, or a foal, or to bottle feed lambs…

Love on the ranch or the farm or in the country isn’t always shown the same way as on the coasts. Fancy meals and pricey nights out are usually not the norm. And while those are good in their place, there’s something more soul stirring about a pot of stew and fresh bread. A homemade pie. A pretty scarf that the hero buys because it matches the heroine’s eyes…

When I’m writing Westerns, I make sure my mindset is on animals and kids first, because honestly, when dealing with a farm or ranch and animals, they have to come first. They can’t fend for themselves… That simple admission leads the reader into the heart of the rancher, the devotion of the hero and/or heroine. The words I choose to set the scene or ride the wave of emotions have to ring true to the reader, no matter where he or she lives… or what they do for a living.

Word weaving… it’s what makes an authors voice distinctive, and what makes a story memorable or forgettable. Those words create and follow the rise and fall of emotion and that roller coaster ride should be as real as we can make it… so the reader gets the full price of their ticket!

Do you have favorite book scenes that have stuck with you over years? I’d love to hear about them… comment today because I have a beautiful copy of my newest Love Inspired book “The Lawman’s Yuletide Baby” as a giveaway… and I think you’ll love this beautiful story of healing and hope and sacrificial love.

Of course the fact that it’s my 20th LOVE INSPIRED STORY is a wonderful milestone!!! 🙂 I brought coffee and hot chocolate because things are cooling down here in Western New York… and some homemade double chocolate chip cookies, because while Pumpkin Spice everything is fun… nothing beats double chocolate chip. And it don’t pay to argue with me, because I’m armed… and dangerous, my friends!

Cookies for everyone!

 

 

Ruth Logan Herne
Multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne lives on a small farm in Western New York surrounded by grown kids, cute grandkids, cats, dogs, chickens, frogs, toads and snakes. That's why writing Westerns doesn't scare her. Not one smidge. Because she's surrounded by critters of all sorts, and has been known to teach lessons on snakes as available... She started writing Westerns by accident/invitation, and L-O-V-E-D it... matched with her love for both historicals and contemporaries, Ruthy's working on a new Western series for Love Inspired, New England mysteries for Guideposts and her historical Westerns for the indie market in 2018. She loves God, her family, her country and absolutely, positively loves what she does!
Updated: October 29, 2017 — 7:52 pm

Fall In Texas

I’m from Iowa, and there it’s easy to tell fall has arrived. The trees change to lovely shades of yellow, orange and crimson. A crispness lingers in the air all day. It feels like fall. I love that time of year. Wearing jackets, snuggling under a blanket with a good romance on Saturday. Walking on crunching leaves.

Now I live in Texas, and fall is different from what I knew growing up. In Texas, it’s hard to tell autumn has arrived. Halloween has come and gone, and Thanksgiving is around the corner. Despite what the calendar says, this week’s forecast is for record high temperatures. We’re talking hitting ninety degrees. When the leaves change, they turn a shade of brown and fall off the tress. Not exactly the ooh-ahh fall colors I spotted in the Midwest.

Saying It’s been an adjustment for me is like saying Texas and Texas A&M have a little rivalry. Over the years I’ve learned fall is heralded in different ways in Texas. First and foremost, we know it’s fall because of the arrival of football season. Yes, it’s true. Football is almost a religion here in Texas. From high schools on Friday night to TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas and Texas A&M on Saturday. There’s even have a “Red River Showdown” between Texas and OU at the Texas State Fair.

Which brings me to another huge sign of fall in Texas, the state fair. When people start talking about corny dogs, turkey legs, and fried any and everything, I know autumn has arrived. I hear Big Tex’s voice and see pictures of him everywhere. In 2012 when Big Tex caught on fire, it was huge news. We got updates on the progress to rebuild him, including details on changes in his iconic outfit.

But I’ve learned to adjust. I decorate the yard and house for fall, Halloween, and then Thanksgiving. I admit a couple times I had a fire and then turned on the air conditioner because the house got so warm. I bake items that remind me of fall. One of my family’s favorite is pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 C flour
3 C sugar
4 eggs
1C oil
2/3 C water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 can pumpkin
½ black walnut flavoring
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a “well” in the center. Add eggs, water, oil and black walnut flavoring in well. Mix. Add canned pumpkin. Mix. Place in greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Now tell me about your favorite fall tradition and be entered in the drawing to win the pumpkin and Home On The Ranch: Colorado.

Julie Benson
Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.
Updated: November 1, 2017 — 6:28 pm

Keli Gwyn Coming to Visit on Friday!

We’re delighted to have Miss Keli Gwyn saddle up for a visit on Friday, November 3, 2017!

Miss Keli is such a talented writer and loves the old West. She’s going to talk about how a gold mine helped fund a railroad.

I’m sure you don’t want to miss this. It’ll be fun.

She’s also toting two print copies of her new Christmas book!

So shake the wrinkles out of your bustle and get over here.

That’s Friday, November 3!

 

Felicia Filly
When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.
Updated: October 31, 2017 — 10:04 am

Halloween Day Winner

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO TUESDAY’S HALLOWEEN WINNER …

Tonya Cherry

Tonya, I will contact you later today and let you know the Email address to send me the

name of the eBook you’d like sent to you.  In the meantime,

you might want to go to

AMAZON.COM and check out my book selection.

Again, congratulation!  Phyliss.

 

 

 

 

 

Phyliss
A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com
Updated: October 31, 2017 — 4:31 pm
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