The winner is… Trixi! Congratulations!
Please email me at jeanniewrites @ gmail . com and let me know if you’d like an ebook or a print book.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in about their crushes (or lack thereof 🙂 ).
The winner is… Trixi! Congratulations!
Please email me at jeanniewrites @ gmail . com and let me know if you’d like an ebook or a print book.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in about their crushes (or lack thereof 🙂 ).
I am so pleased to announce the release of the first book of my Sweet Home, Montana series, A Ranch Between Them.
This is the story of Katie Callahan and Brady O’Neil. Brady and Katie’s brother were best friends in high school and Katie had a mad crush on Brady. Brady’s home life wasn’t the best and he didn’t feel like he was worthy of Katie, so he kept his distance. Time passed, as it does, and they went their separate ways–Katie to a corporate career in the city, and Brady to the rodeo circuit.
When the story opens, Brady’s suffered a career-ending injury and and has signed on to manage the Callahan Ranch while he heals, unaware that Katie, tired of city life, is coming home to stay. (I just love doing things like this to my characters.)
This scene is from the first chapter of the book, after Katie has rescued Brady from an ATV accident–something he would have been able to do himself had he not been inured.
After parking the truck next to the main house, Katie half expected Brady to bolt—or to come as close to bolting as he could with his injuries, both old and new—but instead he turned toward her and regarded her for a long moment from under the brim of his ball cap, giving her a moment to study him back.
He’d been good-looking in high school, but now he bordered on spectacular with his dark hair and green eyes. The planes of his face had become more pronounced with age, as had the laugh lines around his eyes. She doubted that Brady had laughed a lot lately, but the lines made her realize how much time had passed since they’d seen one another. They’d both aged, changed. They weren’t the people they’d once been.
“I’m hurting, Katie.”
The candid admission startled her. Brady O’Neil admitting weakness. Brady, who’d refused to go to the clinic. Brady, who’d never let on that his parents were not the loving parents they appeared to be. Nick had clued her in on that small fact.
“Hurting inside or out?” She half expected him to pull into himself after she asked the question, refuse to answer or deflect the question. He didn’t.
“Out.” His jaw shifted sideways, and he sucked in a breath before saying, “Both. Which is why I need my space. Maybe, before I go, I can explain everything. But for now…” He made a frustrated gesture. “Like I said, I need my space.”
“Do you think I’m going to try to mother you, or smother you or something to that effect? Because that isn’t the case. I’m here to sort my life out, too.”
There was color in his cheeks. This wasn’t easy for him, but now that he knew she was going to be sharing his domain, he was establishing boundaries. Like she would encroach where she wasn’t wanted. Although perhaps he had cause to think that. She hadn’t exactly taken the hint when he’d tried to shut her out when they were teens.
“What makes you think I’m going to insinuate myself into your life?” she added.
“You’re a helper, Katie, and I don’t want help. I want to find out what I’m capable of alone.”
“Well, we now know your capabilities in the wrecked four-wheeler department.” Katie instantly held up her hand. “Low blow. Sorry. But what makes you think I’m going to pay any attention to you at all?”
“Katie,” he said softly, “you rescue things. Puppies, kittens, leppie calves.”
Okay. So, she’d rescued a few orphan calves. Some abandoned puppies. A few kittens. Big deal. She propped a hand on her hip. “And that’s your big fear? That I’m going to try to rescue you?” She lifted her eyebrows in a speaking expression. “Like I did today?”
Brady didn’t bite.
Katie let out a frustrated huff of breath. “Fine. We’ll make a no-rescue pact. I won’t rescue you, again, and you won’t rescue me.” She lifted her chin. “Not that I would need rescued.”
He cocked an eyebrow and the color rose in her cheeks as she got his point. “I can now change a tire by myself, and if I get stranded after midnight, I have a cell phone.” And a lot more street smarts than she’d had back in the day.
“How about instead of a pact, you treat me like Ed Cordell? An employee of the ranch.”
Ed, the former ranch manager, had kept to himself, did his job and did it well. He’d been all business, and Katie had never been able to warm up to the man. But he’d kept the ranch running smoothly, she’d give him that.
“If you’re asking me to treat you like Ed, you’re serious about this leave-you-alone thing.”
“It’s not personal, Katie,” he repeated. “It’s what I need right now.”
Katie lifted her chin. “If you need to be left alone, I’ll respect your wishes. Believe it or not, I no longer need to tag along where I’m not wanted. I’ve changed over the past decade.”
She frowned at the unexpected remark, but before she could come up with a comeback or a question, Brady held out a hand. Katie stared at it for a second, feeling as if she was teetering on the brink of something dangerous, which was crazy because how dangerous could it be shaking hands with a guy who didn’t want her—or anyone for that matter—around? She resolutely put her hand in his, her nerves jumping as his warm, work-roughened palm made contact with hers and his fingers closed.
Katie nodded briskly before pulling her fingers free. “Deal.” She felt as if she’d just gotten a slow-motion electrical shock. That was the only way she could describe the tingle that gripped her body when they made contact, ultimately making her stomach tumble.
The vestiges of a crush from the distant past. That was all it was.
She reached for her door handle, her heart beating harder than before, and still feeling the warmth of his fingers on hers. She pushed her hands into her back pockets and met Brady’s gaze. “This is where we go our separate ways, living our parallel lives on the Callahan Ranch?”
He gave his head a slow shake, those mossy green eyes full of an emotion she couldn’t quite read as he said, “I doubt we’ll be able to do that, but when we do meet—”
“You’re Ed to me.”
THE GIVE AWAY! If you’d like to win a copy of A Ranch Between Them, all you have to do is to tell me in the comments if you had a mad crush in high school. 🙂
The winner will be announced on Thursday afternoon, so stay tuned!
Welcome to our special Spuds and Spurs week! Spuds, you say? Yes, indeed. Potatoes were a staple on the westward trails. They were nutritious and stored well, so pioneers depended on them, and as such they should be celebrated. They are also one of my favorite foods.
I’m from Idaho originally and the license plate of my first car proudly read “Famous Potatoes”. As a teen that was a mortifying thing to have on one’s car. I survived, but I thought it was kind of embarrassing to be from a potato state when other kids got to be from states famous for wild horses or aliens. When I traveled out of state and let it be known that I was from Idaho, people invariably said, “Potatoes, right?”
Right–except that I never ate an Idaho potato until I moved to Colorado in 1982, where there were special bins marked “Idaho Potatoes”. At the time they didn’t sell Idaho spuds in the northern part of Idaho–they sold potatoes from Washington, Oregon, California and North Dakota. I love all potatoes, so I didn’t care.
And now to Mr. Potato Head…
Shortly after I married, my husband and I moved to northern Nevada, where we lived near the largest spud farm in the nation. (Yes, Nevada, not Idaho.) I took a job teaching junior high school, and since I’m a big fan of whimsy, I used my kids’ Mr. Potato Heads as room decorations. The students, would ask why I had so many Mr. Potato Heads, and I would explain that I was from Idaho and Mr. Potato Head was my favorite animal.
That stopped them in their tracks. “But…he’s a potato, not an animal.”
“Does he have legs and eyes and a nose and a mouth?”
“Then he’s my favorite animal.”
Soon the kids were bringing me their old Potato Heads, and I started getting new ones as gifts. One student negotiated a trade–he’d give me his prince and princess Potato Heads in exchange for my Darth Tater. I liked the kid, so I agreed. I kind of miss Darth, though.
The original Mr. Potato Head was invented in 1949 and made with actual potatoes. The Mr. Potato Head kit supplied the face and body components, which were on nails, and the child had to come up with his own potato to put them on. Toys were slightly more deadly back then. You don’t find points sharp enough to skewer a potato on kids’s toys nowadays. The plastic potato body was included in the kit in 1964 and in 1975, the spud body became much larger.
Some fun Mr. Potato Head facts–he received four votes to be mayor of Boise, Idaho in 1985. He was the official Spokes Spud for the Great American Smoke Out in 197 and surrendered his pipe. He was the first toy ever advertised on television in 1952.
Mr, Potato Head has starred in films, been featured in McDonald Happy Meals, floated high as a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and even dresses up as a cowboy. In fact…Cowboy Mr. Potato Head will be one of the prizes given away in our special event. So exciting!
And Now…The Spurs and Spuds Contest
Here’s how the contest works–it’s simple, but a little different from our past contests. Every day two blog commentors will be chosen as semi-finalists. On Sunday, September 29, two winners will be chosen from the semi-finalists. The grand prizes are a great big Lays Potato Variety Pack, and Mr. And Mrs. Potato Head!
To enter to be one of my semi-finalists, please tell me if you had a Mr. Potato Head. If you are lucky enough to be randomly chosen as my semi-finalists, you will also receive an autographed copy of my soon-to-be-released book, A Ranch Between Them.
Hey everyone! Today I’m talking about beaverslides, which are not fun devices located on playgrounds for flat-tailed furry mammals, I’m sorry to say. A beaverslide is a way to stack loose hay.
In the eastern part of the United States, it wasn’t necessary to store as much winter forage/hay as it was in the west. Due to the long, harsh winters, western ranchers often needed to store more hay than the average hayloft could hold. Thankfully, due to the low humidity, hay could be stacked outside, rather than under a barn roof, without rotting as it would do in the east.
When my mom was a kid, the field hands pitched loose hay from the fields into wagons, where people (kids) would stamp down the hay to make room for more. The trick, she said, was to not get a pitchfork in the leg. Having once had a pitchfork in my leg, I think about that often. The wagon of loose hay was then pitched into haylofts where it was protected from the weather, or it was stored in stacks. In the early 1900s, however, two ranchers in the Big Hole country of Montana, very close to where I now live, invented the Beaverhead County Slide Stacker, soon to be known simply as a beaverslide, which provided a quicker and more efficient way to stack loose hay.
Now I saw these contraptions in hay fields as a kid, most of them falling apart from lack of use, and while I knew they had something to do with haying, I didn’t know how they worked. Here’s how:
I’m happy to say that while most farmers and ranchers bale hay, the beaverslide is still being used today. Here’ a beaverslide in use close to where I live:
How cool is that? Using a beaverslide today might be more labor intensive than using a baler, requiring a crew of 6 to 8 people, but it saves on fuel, which is huge. A beaverslide can stack hay up to 30 feet high. They are usually made of lodge pole pine and wooden boards, but some have metal components.
About 24 tons of hay can be stacked before the beaverslide is moved to make a new stack in a new area. An average size cow consumes 24 pounds of hay a day, so one stack will feed 2000 cows for one day, or 500 cows for 4 days. We have 50 cows on our place, so a 24 ton stack would last us for about 5 weeks.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our adventure in loose hay today!
One of my favorite rodeos is not a PCRA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) sanctioned rodeo, but rather our local rodeo, where we get riders from southwest Montana.
As we headed out to the rodeo, my husband had reservations… What is that, you ask? The view from inside the truck as we drove to town.
I assured him the skies would clear and sure enough they did, but not before making a nice amount of muck.
The arena hadn’t gotten sloppy, however, so it wasn’t too slick to ride in. This is the mounted drill team my mother coaches. She rode with them for over a decade, then retired from performing at the age of 76 and took over coaching.
What follows are views from behind the chutes where the competitors saddle their broncs. I do love me a yellow slicker, thus the photo of yellow slicker guy.
Each cowboy puts his own gear on the horse he’s going to ride. In general there are fewer bareback bronc riders than saddle bronc riders because it’s so hard on the body. They were vests with special neck rolls to cushion their head as it snaps back. The cowboy in the pink chaps is wearing his vest and you can see the roll on it. By the by, cowboys are not afraid of pink. Something to do with being comfortable in their masculinity, I think.
These are the saddle bronc riders getting ready to go.
The rodeo is a real family affair. If you look closely you’ll see a cowboy holding a baby, another holding his toddler and, of course, a dog. This photo was taken behind the chutes as they were prepping the bulls for the bull riding. The guy in the chaps is a bull riding contestant, who is thankfully wearing a helmet. I’m a proponent of helmets in rodeo events.
It rained during the bull riding and got my boots wet, but they didn’t soak through. I could have sat under the cover of the grandstand, but I like to sit on the open bleachers next to the chutes. You can see why…it’s worth getting wet.
All in all it was a great time at the rodeo!
Did you watch Classic TV westerns back in the day? If so, this quiz is right up your alley. All you have to do is to match the horse to the cowboy or cowgirl. I’ll name the cowboy, you name the horse in the comment section.
The winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of my next book, Her Cowboy Boss, when it releases on August 27th. Winners will be chosen by random drawing from those who get all eight answers correct.
Ate you ready to go? To help jog your memory, I’ve included a name bank, but be warned—there are more names than questions.
Please just write the number of the question and your answer in the comment section. No need to type out the cowboy’s name.
Good Luck everyone!
Welcome to Yee-Haw Day, the once-a-month day we’ve reserved to share our news with you – all sorts of fun news!
So check out the post below to get the details on the kinds of things that make us go Yee-Haw!!
My brand new release is on an incredible sale until July 31.
Grab an e-copy of Zach and Abigail’s story for only $1.99 today!
“Fans of Karen Witemeyer know that she excels at writing sweet, subtly sexy Western romances which are full of charm and joy. Her genuine, heartwarming stories never fail to bring a smile to my face and her latest book, More Than Words Can Say, completely met that expectation. . . fans of Inspirational romance will find a lot to love here, and I urge them to rush out and pick up a copy as soon as possible.” ~All About Romance
Guess what, y’all! I just had a birthday yesterday! I know most people aren’t excited about getting older, but I am–even with all the aches and pains that come along with it. This is a big birthday for me–I’m 62! How many of us, when we were 16 years old and learning to drive a car, ever imagined that we would live to be as old as our grandparents were right then? LOL I sure didn’t. I couldn’t even THINK that far in the future–but now that I’m here, it doesn’t seem so old at all.
The picture above left is me when I was 17, the end of my junior year of highschool–never dreaming I’d one day be old enough to collect my Social Security. Above right is a recent picture of me with my daughter, Jessica. She’ll be 33 this year, and she can’t imagine ever being 62, either. Growing older “ain’t” for sissies, but I’m glad to still be here, alive and kickin’!
As a way to celebrate, I want to offer a digital giveaway of the Prairie Rose Publications boxed set UNDER A WESTERN SKY to two commenters who are interested in reading some excellent WHR stories!
I love this collection because it’s six books–full-length novels–by six different authors, all western historical romance! Just let me know if you’re interested and leave your e-mail info in your comment–I’ll be drawing two names! My story, FIRE EYES, is included, along with 5 other stories by Celia Yeary, Tracy Garrett, Kaye Spencer, Agnes Alexander, and Patti Sherry-Crews.
Y’all wish me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I have a book trailer for LONGING FOR A COWBOY CHRISTMAS!
It comes out Sept. 24, 2019!
I just got the cover to my August Tule Publishing release, Her Cowboy Boss. Brodie and McKenna had last seen each other in high school when she was part of the social elite and he was the quiet ranch kid who liked to draw. Now she’s a single mom building a new life and he’s her boss on a cattle ranch. He’s interested in building a relationship, but McKenna is fighting ghosts from her past.
Her Cowboy Boss will be available for pre-order soon.
Ruth Logan Herne
Ruthy is celebrating being a finalist in the Maggie Awards for Excellence, sponsored by Georgia Romance Writers! Winners are announced at GRW’s wonderful Moonlight & Magnolias conference in October, but Ruthy is thrilled to be a finalist with her Amazon bestseller “At Home in Wishing Bridge”! Thank you, GRW!
Coming VERY soon!
Book 2 in the C Bar C Ranch Series
Callie Mae Lockett is betrayed by the man who claims he’s responsible for her young brother’s tragic death. She chooses another to help carry on her precious legacy, the C Bar C Ranch , and he’s the farthest thing from a cowboy she’s ever met.
TJ Grier has always been one of the C Bar C’s best cowboys, but one horrible night destroys all he’s ever known.
Desperate to prove his innocence, he steals Callie Mae away, and together they plunge into danger to solve the secret that has torn them apart.
Oh my gosh, I’m in New York City for the annual Romance Writers of America conference. This was my view the morning I took off–that’s my husband waiting for me to actually get into the truck so that he can drive me to the airport. I’m sure the cows behind the truck are waving goodbye.
And this is my view today. It’s just a little different, but I love the energy of the city.
Going to Conference is a big deal for me. I meet with my editors and fellow authors, take classes and get ideas for my next stories. I always come home excited and ready to tackle at least three or four new projects. Reality will eventually settle in and I’ll pare my project list down to one or two, but I always learn something new about my craft and I get to connect with other writers. In fact, Kit Morgan and I met for the first time on an airplane flying to the RWA Conference several years ago. I was writing on my laptop on the plane, and she asked if I was going to RWA. We had a great talk, and now we’re fellow Fillies. (Try saying ‘fellow fillies’ fast three times.The conference starts tomorrow, so today my daughter and I ate pizza and went to Macy’s. They still have wooden escalators between some of the floors.
It’s also the location of one of my favorite Christmas movies.
Later in the week we plan to take in a Broadway show and see some museums when we aren’t busy with the business of writing. And the lovely part is that as the conference winds down, I’m usually pleasantly exhausted and ready to go home to my cowboy and the cows and my keyboard. The city is fun, conference is exhilarating, but there really is no place like home.
Forty-one years ago (how time flies) I was a young geology student. One of the final hurdles before getting a geology degree is Field Camp. This I where you camp for weeks with other geology students and professors and learn to map and apply your knowledge to the real world. It’s fun and challenging and nerve rattling.
Also forty-one years ago, a handsome guy I didn’t know attended field camp. He’d started college late, after being discharged from the military and then working for several years. We were way different people and had essentially no contact during camp, although I was very impressed when he read Robert Service while everyone sat around the campfire, slapping mosquitoes and enjoying the smoke.
Three years after camp, we met again. Just like in a romance, sparks flew and not that long after we were married—a matter of months. And the crazy thing is that we now live very close to the area where we went to field camp and ignored one another. Last week we took a trip to see if we could find some of the places we’d been way back when and I want to share the photos with you.
If you had told people in camp four decades ago that the two of us were soulmates, I think they might have laughed, but you know what? It worked.
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Mary Edwards Walker was a doctor, a Civil War POW and alleged spy, and she is the only woman to have ever earned a Congressional Medal of Honor. She was also a “radical” feminist activist, and an advocate of comfortable dress for women.
Mary was born in 1832 in Oswego, New York to a family of free-thinking abolitionists. Mary’s father thought that women’s clothing was restrictive and encouraged his five daughters to dress as they wanted. Mary embraced the style of Amelia Bloomer, a proponent of dress reform who introduced Turkish-style pants that came to be known as bloomers. Mary went on to wear pants for most of her life. She was arrested several times for impersonating a man. Later in life, she adopted the habit of wearing men’s evening wear to deliver lectures at various gatherings.
Mary’s parents encouraged her to get an education. She became the second woman, after Elizabeth Blackwell, to graduate from Syracuse Medical College in 1855. She was 21 years old. She married a fellow doctor (while wearing pants) in 1856 and kept her own name. She and her husband set up a joint practice, but it did not thrive. People did not want to see a female doctor. She and her husband divorced in 1869.
In 1861, the Civil War broke out, and Mary traveled to Washington D.C. in an effort to join the Union Army. She was denied, so volunteered instead. She was appointed assistant surgeon for the Ohio 52nd Infantry and in addition to treating wounded Union soldiers, made many trips over Confederate lines to treat Confederate civilians. It’s generally thought that she was serving as a spy at this time.
Mary was captured by Confederate troops and sent to a prisoner of war camp in 1864, but after serving 4 months was part of an exchange for Confederate doctors and returned to the Ohio 52nd.
Mary was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865. Sadly, in 1917, her medal was rescinded, along with those of 910 other recipients after the standards were changed to actually seeing combat with the enemy. According to legend, when federal officers showed up at her house to retrieve the medal, she met them with a shotgun and told them she would not surrender the medal. The federal officers retreated empty-handed. Mary died in 1919, one year before women received the right to vote.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter reinstated her medal, citing her “distinguished gallantry, self-sacrifice,patriotism, dedication and unflinching loyalty to her country, despite the apparent discrimination because of her sex.”