Tag: Linda Broday

Just What WAS in Those Saddlebags?

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I’ve always been curious about the contents cowboys carried in their saddlebags. In the movies, it often seemed that they held everything except a kitchen stove. Strange how those men pulled out exactly what they needed. But what did they actually tote along?

 

  • Jerky and hardtack when unable to build a fire
  • Matches
  • One or two Tin Plates, forks and knives
  • Extra Ammunition
  • A Curry Comb and Brush
  • Picket Pin to stake your horse at night
  • A Horseshoe and nails
  • A Change of Clothes
  • Other Small Personal Items—maybe a book or something to write on
  • Maybe a small amount of grain or oats for your horse

 

A gunnysack tied to the pommel and hanging off the side would hold things like a small coffeepot and coffee, a small skillet, a jar of lard, or more of the contents listed above.

campfire

They either hung a canteen of water off the side or stuck it in the saddlebags if they had room.

Although, they were careful not to load the horse down too much or they couldn’t travel far without stopping to rest. For long distances, the cowboy usually had a packhorse along to carry all this and more. That was ideal.

In my upcoming story, TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER, Sam Legend steals a group of outlaw’s horses. When he, Sierra Hunt and Luke Weston go through their saddlebags, they find dry clothes which they sorely needed, coffee and a coffeepot. Plus, stolen loot in the amount of $650.

Later after Sam and Sierra cross the raging Brazos River, the matches, coffee and coffeepot in their saddlebags get them warm.

old west saddlebags

The contents of those traveling suitcases often saved not only the cowboy but his horse.

TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER comes out October 4 and is available for preorder online on bookstore sites. You can find an excerpt on my website. Click HERE and it’ll take you.

What do you think about life on the trail and living out of saddlebags? Could you have fit in everything you needed?

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Big Ranches, Big Story

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The state of Texas has 268,597 square miles so it’s no wonder we have huge ranches to match the size. Some are simply too enormous to comprehend. So I had no trouble setting a big ranch here for my latest Men of Legend series. I wanted it as big and bold as the father and sons who owned it, so Texas was perfect. (It’s rumored that the state produces people with big personalities.) Strictly rumor of course. I’m laughing here.

My fictional Lone Star Ranch is a little on the puny side at 480,000 acres. I modeled it to some degree after the Waggoner Ranch which was 510,000 acres in 1954. When it sold in 2016, it had grown. The Waggoner Ranch also fit the location of mine in North Texas.

XITbrandThe largest ranch in the world in 1880 was the XIT Ranch (stands for Ten in Texas) at a whopping three million acres in West Texas and the Panhandle. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly 4,687 square miles. Just think how long it would take to ride over it by horseback. All that land was owned by a syndicate of English investors. It was simply too big for words.

The mighty King Ranch down at the far end of the state was and still is one of the largest ranches in the world. It has well over a million acres. It was established in 1854 by partners Richard King and Gideon Lewis.

King RanchNorth Texas certainly has a lion share of ranching land. That’s mostly because the rugged, rocky, dry landscape is fit for little else. The Matador Land and Cattle Company (purchased by Scottish investors) is another large one at a million and half acres in the beginning. It has shrunk now but still going strong.

Four sixesThe 6666 Ranch is an interesting one that keeps on thriving. Captain Samuel Burk Burnett bought 350,000 acres in 1870 and started raising cattle. Rumors have swirled for decades that he named it this unusual name because he won it in a poker game with a hand of four sixes. Descendants swear that’s not true. It’s still a huge ranch at 275,000 acres. I always love driving past it and looking at the large herds of horses. Their buildings are always pristine and they even have an airstrip. It’s pretty.

Love a Texas Ranger smallerOkay, back to my Lone Star Ranch. The patriarch, Stoker Legend, acquired 100 acres as payment for fighting in the Texas War for Independence. Everyone scoffed and said he had little chance of making the ranch thrive what with Indians, outlaws, drought, and the fact the land was extremely inhospitable. He paid them no mind and carved out the mighty ranch that serves as a legacy for his sons—Sam, Houston, and Luke.

Sam Legend joined the Texas Rangers as soon as he could because ranching just doesn’t interest him. He has restless feet and is driven with a need to see what’s over the next hill. Book #1 of this Men of Legend series is TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER. Sam runs across a desperate woman named Sierra Hunt who has been dragged from pillar to post. She burns with a dream of permanence—a little white house with a picket fence around it, flowers in front and a garden in back. She’s not going to settle for anything less…not even for Sam.

There are lots of twists and turns in this story as they seek to find common ground and protect the fragile love that forms as they run from a ruthless band of outlaws.

Think the western series Bonanza. This series is every bit as big and bold as the Cartwrights. I’m enjoying writing this so much.

Release day is October 4th! You can preorder at these links:  AMAZON  |    B&N    |    iTUNES

There are still one million acre ranches today in the United States. What do you think the biggest challenge would be to owning such a huge amount of land?

By the way…Did you know July 23rd is the National Day of the Cowboy?

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Here a Pocket, There a Pocket

Rides the WestI love the word pocket.  Pockets can hold everyday items, things of necessity…maybe even the hopes and dreams of a heart. These cloth pouches offered a private place to keep personal items. Pockets can be any size or shape.

1700s PocketsPrior to the 1790s, pockets weren’t attached to their clothing, instead tied around a woman’s waist under her skirt or petticoat. A slit at the side allowed room for her to slip her wrist inside and into the detachable pocket that she sewed by hand, even embroidered with a pretty stitch.

On the other hand…males’ pockets were attached to the waistband of his trousers and into the lining of his coat. So, they pretty much always had the same thing. Theirs were easily accessible and THEY didn’t have to fumble around, trying to get into something hidden. Like it was a sin to wear.

Good Heavens!

There were watch pockets, flap pockets and even breast pockets. Yes, the men had it all. Easy and accessible.

But maybe women wanted theirs hidden. At least she didn’t have to explain to anyone what she carried or why.

And what did she find important enough to put inside? Let’s see.

Early pocketIn Samuel Richardson’s novel in 1742, he described his heroine’s pocket when she escaped her master as holding one shift, 2 handkerchiefs, 2 caps and 5 shillings. Now, that was a mighty big pocket!

The Victoria and Albert Museum have these listed as common items:

Keys, spectacles, a mirror, a watch, a diary (smart thinking, no one could read it,) pencil case, a snuff box, knife and scissors, a thimble, a pincushion.

Okay excuse me, now why on earth would a woman carry around a pincushion? Or a thimble? was she going to whip those out and start sewing? Or maybe she wanted to keep pins handy so she could jab someone who annoyed her. Lord knows there were probably plenty people who did. After all, every time she turned around someone was telling her what to do, say, or where to go.

I found it interesting that some women carried food–oranges, an apple or some biscuits. I think it hilarious to carry biscuits in your pocket. I assume in case the wearer got a hunger pain. But then food was a bit scarce.

This is from Charles Dickens’ novel, David Copperfield: Releasing one of her arms, she put it down in her pocket to the elbow, and brought out some paper bags of cakes which she crammed into my pockets, and a purse which she put in my hand, but not one word did she say.’

BAGS OF CAKES!!

If you’d lived back then and made yourself a pretty tie-on pocket, what things would you have put inside?

Here’s my new cover!! This book comes out October 4th and is available for preorder at AMAZON and B&N.

This is Book #1 of my new Men of Legend series. I’m so excited about this.

Love a Texas Ranger smaller

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Linda At the RT Booklover’s Convention!

Booksigning RT 2016I just returned from the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention 2016 in Las Vegas. I’m exhausted, but boy did I have fun. If you’ve ever been to one of these, you know how wild and crazy they are. This one was no exception. Tons of readers as well as authors. This is where you can really sit down and talk to your favorite writer and ask all about their books. Cover models are everywhere! Oh man, I almost broke my fool neck. They’re just walking around acting all normal while us ladies are having a hard time getting our breath. It should be against the law! Click on the photos and they should enlarge for drooling purposes.

It was a tough job, but someone had to do it! Right? Yee-Haw!

Michael Foster (left) and Sean Hampton

Michael Foster (left) and Sean Hampton

Vikkas Bhardwaj

Vikkas Bhardwaj

Scott Nova and me

Scott Nova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my awesome roommates — E.E. Elizabeth Burke and Jacqui Nelson. We had such a great time. I never laughed so hard in my life. Every night we had “giggling” parties as we recapped our day. This is Elizabeth on the left and Jacqui on the right. If you haven’t read their books, you need to get started. They write historical westerns also.

Leigh, Me and Jacqui

But RT wasn’t all about partying. They had workshops all day long except on the weekend. The first I attended was What Really Happens in a Cover Shoot? Very eye-opening. It’s not fun or glamorous or exciting. It’s very hard work. The models have to stand under hot lights for long hours. Often, the photographers shoot 600-1000 pictures during one session that lasts all day. The models get sweaty and tired. And hungry. There are tons of costume changes. The male models have to do push ups regularly during this time to pump up their muscles. The female models have to wear layers of heavy clothing when shooting for historical covers so they burn up too. Scott Nova was the model they used in this workshop. He’s a super great guy and I got my picture taken with him.

Scott Nova and Jacqui NelsonScott Nova3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another workshop was about how to write fight scenes. I really needed that one! Tons of eye-opening information. I also attended lots of others.

I met up with Rosanne Bittner, Kirsten Lynn, Merry Farmer, Charlene Raddon (RT honored her with a Pioneer Award.) Tonya Lucas, a reader who traveled from a town near me was there. So many wonderful people and Facebook friends.

Kirsten Lynn

Kirsten Lynn

E.E. Burke, Tonya Lucas, Rosanne Bittner, me and Jacqui Nelson

E.E. Burke, Tonya Lucas, Rosanne Bittner, me and Jacqui Nelson

Charlene Raddon, me, E.E. Burke

Charlene Raddon, me, E.E. Burke

 

 

Leigh, Rosanne

E.E. Burke and Rosanne Bittner

Rosanne and Linda

Rosanne Bittner and I

E.E. Burke, Tonya Lucas, Jacqui Nelson

E.E. Burke, Tonya Lucas, Jacqui Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Altman and me2But now I have some news…my wonderful editor, Mary Altman, showed me the cover for To Love a Texas Ranger that’s coming out in October! Oh my Lord! It’s gorgeous! I can’t wait to show it to you. Soon.

 

Also, today through April 25th, FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE is on sale for $1.99 at B&N. Go snag you a copy. This is book 3 of my Bachelor series.

Here’s the link:  http://goo.gl/jWIoqn 

 

Just Who The Heck is Linda Broday?

 

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In case some of you are asking this mind-boggling question……I’m here to set the record straight. I’m the most boring person. In fact, I’m tempted to make up something to make me interesting. Like maybe I’m a billionaire’s kept mistress or a renowned scientist or I secretly work at the CIA and only posing as a writer….But nope.

 

1  I’m extremely shy. I hate it and always envied anyone who could talk in front of crowds with ease. I’ve always been afraid of groups and that makes promoting my books very hard. But I do whatever I have to and, over the years, it has gotten a little easier.

 

2. I have three sisters and one brother and I’m 4th in the pecking order. We’re all gifted in one way or another. My brother is in real estate in Houston, one older sister paints pictures, another older sister can cook like crazy and create the most beautiful cakes and my youngest sister is an author like me with a successful series in addition to writing songs and performing on stage. This picture was taken at our reunion last year. I’m standing with the pink lei around my neck.

Smith Kids

3. I have three children and five beautiful grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter graduated suma cum laude from Texas Tech University last year.

Katie

4. My last name was made up by my husband’s grandfather who, during World War I, didn’t want anyone to know he was German. The name was originally Broka. To this day there are very few Brodays in the world. The name (with various spelling variations) has become popular in the last decade as a boy’s first name. In fact, my hero in Redemption is Brodie Yates. I thought that would be a fun thing to do.

 

5. I’ve never gone one day of college. When I was growing up we were extremely poor so when I graduated from high school I had to get a job to help support the family. My dad only went to the 3rd grade (and not many days of that) and my mom went to the 8th. When my parents married, my dad couldn’t read or write so my mom taught him. I’m still astounded that I could be a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author. 

 

6. From the time I was old enough to know anything I wanted to be a writer. I made up stories in my head long before I learned to write. I was always a fanciful child. Reading books was my favorite thing to do and still is. The very first story I ever wrote was for school. It was about an ant colony that played football in the family’s sugar bowl. I remember getting an A on that. My next story was about some squirrels. Ha, insects and rodents seemed to have fascinated me! Somehow I graduated to romance……

books

 

7. My biggest adventure was a Caribbean Cruise I took four years ago. I toured some Mayan ruins and that was a chance of a lifetime for me. Such a thrill to see what I’d previously only known in pictures. A huge difference! I loved seeing where those ancient people once lived, worked and raised a family. I’d love to go back sometime. But dear Lord, it was hot!! I learned a tropical heat is way hotter than here in Texas.

Cruise Ship in Cozumel

8. I recently played a part (okay it was a very small scene) in the short movie called THE EIGHTH FLOOR. One of my granddaughters wrote a short story by the same title and movie director Michael Crabtree read it and decided to make it into a movie. I learned one thing very quickly…I am not cut out to be an actor. I hated the constant retakes and having to repeat the same lines and actions over and over and over. Each scene took forever to film. But I was happy to have had the experience. (Click on the image to make it readable.)

Script The Eighth Floor

9. In addition to being a member of Romance Writers of America, I’m program director for a writing group here called the Panhandle Professional Writers. It’s one of the oldest continuously run writing groups of its kind in the U.S.  I’m tasked with finding program speakers. So anyone out there….contact me for a speaking opportunity.

PPW

10. The only place I write my stories is here in my office. From the first time I saw this house three years ago, I knew I could write some good stories in here in this room. A feeling that’s hard to describe came over me. And it was true. I wrote the entire Bachelors of Battle Creek series and now Books 1 & 2 of my upcoming Men of Legend series and deep into Book 3. I think this house is blessed. Please don’t look at the mess. 

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11. In another chapter of my life, my husband and I owned a bowling alley and that was lots of fun. It was a lot of long hours though. Oddly enough, I never was a good bowler…even with all the practice…and darn it, I never figured out how to cheat! But I loved watching all the people who came in.

  

12.   The book that directly influenced me to write western historical romance was Angel by Johanna Lindsey. That book was soooo good. How clever to have a gunslinger carry the name of Angel!

Angel

 


Okay, I’m going to stop here. I hear you snoring.

I’m having a drawing for a $15 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, just tell me one thing about your life. I’ll announce the winner on Saturday.

 

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER

 

The Historic Trammel’s Trace

Back when Texas was in the hands of Mexico and then later when we won independence and became a republic, there was only one entrance to the state from the north—Trammel’s Trace.

The path was located in far East Texas where the land is very rugged, wet and heavily wooded.

Trammel's Trace Marker2

Arkansas trader and horse smuggler, Nicholas Trammel, used the old Native American footpath that was hundreds of years old for his smuggling operations beginning in 1813. Trammel was a bit of a scoundrel by all accounts. He was accused of murder, plunder and thievery but was never caught.

Trammel's Trace1

The trace ran 180 miles north from Nacogdoches, TX to Fulton, Arkansas. Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, James Bowie and countless others used the route. And it was very crucial to the War for Independence and later during the Spanish-American War.

Road Ruts

Road Ruts

Trammel’s Trace was printed on maps of the 19th century and provided an important immigration route into Texas for waves of settlers from Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky.

After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to 1813, the route was known as Robber’s Road. That name came about because (1) it was heavily forested and (2) it became a haven for outlaws of all sorts.

Trammel's Tracejpg

The reason Trammel’s Trace ended at Nacogdoches—the route connected with El Camino Real (or Old San Antonio Road) and there was no need to move farther south.

I’ve walked on portions of this vital road and felt as though I trod in the footsteps of so many brave people who came to settle this wild land. Without them I wouldn’t be here.

Do you think you’d have been brave enough to travel this road? I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one person who comments.

(Credit for the first two of these amazing photos goes to Gary Pinkerton – Visit him: www.trammelstrace.org )

Just What Is an Indian Medicine Bag?

Linda pubpixI was so excited when Forever His Texas Bride, the last in my Bachelors of Battle Creek, came out in December. I’d waited a whole year for readers to get it. This story is about Brett Liberty who happens to be a half-breed. He knows nothing at all about his past. Someone left him on the orphanage steps with only item in the basket with him—an Indian medicine bag with an onyx stone inside. Growing up with whites, he doesn’t know what the bag stands for even which tribe he belongs to. Finally when a woman comes with proof that she’s his sister, he learns he’s Iroquois.  But the medicine bag remains in the bottom of a chest with his things until he discovers a very sick old Comanche on his land and sees that he wears the same sort of leather pouch around his neck. When Brett gets his, the man explains what it is and the purpose.

 

a medicine bagMedicine bags were widely used in the American Indian culture. It was a special sacred container usually made of leather, but sometimes were fashioned from a small animal pelt. They held any object that the wearer thought would give him great “medicine” or power.

 

Typically, they contained something from each the plant, mineral and animal kingdom in addition to anything else the wearer thought would bring good fortune, protection and strength. Almost all held sweet grass or sage. No one was allowed to open another’s and when a warrior died, the bag was buried with him. To lose a medicine pouch signified a man had lost his “medicine” and he faced great dishonor and was ridiculed in the tribe. It also meant a bad omen for the future. After learning about his, Brett never took it off.

 

simple medicine bagThe onyx that Brett found in his was put there by his mother to protect him. But he knew a copper strand of Rayna Harper’s hair would bring strength so he put that inside as he went about collecting items that would give him power to fight the men who wanted to kill him. He made a medicine bag for Rayna and she put a piece of fringe from Brett’s moccasin inside along with a green stone from their secret waterfall.

 

Cowboy Coffee mugI have a small leather one that has a beautiful green stone, a small turtle figure and sage inside. What would you put inside one if you had it? What things would you think important to carry?

 

I’m giving away this cowboy and horse mug to one person who leaves a comment.

 

Here’s a short excerpt from the book:

 

Rayna’s hand came in contact with a soft leather pouch she’d never seen him wear before. “What’s this?”

“A medicine bag. I’ve always had it, but until today I didn’t know what it was or why it was in the basket when I was left at the orphanage. Bob told me it holds my power, things that have meaning only to me.” He paused a moment, and when he spoke, his voice sounded rusty. “Rayna, I have a request that may sound odd. Would you mind if I cut a small piece of your hair to put inside?”

His request surprised her at first, then warmth rose at the thought that she meant this much to him. She raised her head. “I’d be honored to have a lock of my hair in your medicine bag.”

She moved from the circle of his arm. He pulled his knife from its sheath and, holding a curl between his thumb and forefinger, cut it. Then he opened his leather pouch and laid it inside. A pleasant glow spread through her chest. Part of her would always be with him. Her eyes misted.

Brett placed his lips to her ear. His soft breath ruffled her hair. “Thank you, Rayna.”

Flutters quivered in her stomach. When she leaned into him, he dropped a kiss on her cheek before moving away. Though she wished for more, she’d learned to be grateful for what she got. She had these peaceful moments and shared secrets with Brett to cherish forever. Maybe she was starting to heal. Maybe this land could heal her ragged spirit, too, and help her live with the things she couldn’t go back and fix. If she had a mind to.

But some things just needed doing even if they scarred your soul.

* * * * * *

You can find all three of my Bachelor series online and in bookstores. I’m currently working on a brand new series called Men of Legend. Book #1—TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER releases in October.

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER

Vegans on the American Frontier?

LindaBroday2With times so hard and food as scarce as it was on the American frontier, being a vegan probably wasn’t heard of that often. But given people’s phobias I have a hard time believing they didn’t develop until the 1900s. People are people no matter what century you live in.

Carnophobia is the fear of meat.

And it’s not limited to vegans. It can apply to anyone who stopped eating meat because it wasn’t prepared well and made them sick.

Rayna Harper in my new book—FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE—is a carnophobic.

ForeverTexasBridemedShe stopped eating meat for a very horrific reason and it makes perfect sense. The only thing is, Brett has a hard time understanding it at first. He’s definitely a meat eater. Game is plentiful and provides critical protein that gives a person energy so it seems odd to him that someone stops eating it.

I’m not going to say what Rayna’s reason is because it’ll give away too much of the story, but she finds a champion in Brett.

Once he learns of her phobia, he makes sure to have plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and eggs available for every meal.

No one understands inner pain better than Brett. When he learns hers, he folds his arms around her, vowing to protect her to the last breath.

I’m giving away a copy (winner’s choice of title and format) of one of my Bachelors of Battle Creek series. All you have to do is leave a comment.

Here’s a short excerpt from the book:

Rayna moved to the fire. Cooper handed her a pointed stick that had a rabbit skewered onto it and asked her to hold it over the flames. She looked as though she might retch. Still, she kept her head averted from the dead animal and did as he requested.

Funny thing though, as soon as Cooper relieved her of the rabbit, she rushed behind a tree and emptied her stomach.

Rand strolled over to Brett. “What’s wrong with Rayna?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe she got something bad in the jail. The food they served was little better than slop for the most part.”

When Rayna returned, Brett took her aside to ask if she was all right.

“I’m fine,” she said, not meeting his eyes.

He knew a fib when he saw one, but he didn’t press. She’d talk when she wanted. Or not. Being one who had never felt the need to do much conversing, he understood her desire for quiet.

His gaze followed her as she walked down to the stream. Suddenly, he remembered her refusal to eat the fried chicken the kind jailor had brought them. He suspected it wasn’t just chicken she didn’t eat. Without a word to anyone, he moved into the woods and found some wild berries, roots, and nuts. Wasn’t much, but it would keep her from getting too weak to travel.

 

Romantic Times gave a 4 star review, saying this:

“Broday’s Westerns always captivate with realistic settings, rugged cowboys and feisty heroines. Broday ends her Bachelors of Battle Creek trilogy with a bone-chilling thrill. Two lonely hearts came together against vigilantes determined to destroy all they hold dear.”

 

The whole series is available online and in bookstores everywhere.

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER

 

 

Linda Broday’s Highlights of 2015

I always enjoy looking back at the end of the year and measuring my progress. Each year needs to show how far I’ve come. If it doesn’t then I slept through it. No sleeping for me this time. Man, I was busy! But 2015 was a stellar year. For the first time in my life I had three new releases–all in my Bachelors of Battle Creek series. January started off with a bang with TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE. The month of May saw TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE and December wound up the series with FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE.

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER

I also did quite a bit of traveling. Put a lot of miles on my car and on my body too!

My trip to New York City lingers in my mind as one of the best places I’ve ever gone. I’d always yearned to see it just once before I died. And I did. I toured the Sourcebooks Publishing NY office, did a walking tour of the financial district, saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Statue of Libertysm

George WashingtonsmTimes Square at Nightsm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not all was related to my career. Our family had a family reunion in East Texas and that was fun. I won the Hula-Hoop competition. I beat out my little sister. My oldest daughter got married and my oldest granddaughter graduated from Texas Tech University Suma Cum Laude.

M&R

Melinda and Katie

 

I wound up the year back in Dallas at Richardson when I attended the annual Buns and Roses Literacy Event. So much fun.

My Christmas celebration was low-key. I dragged out my Charlie Brown tree that I’ve had forever and hung little cowboy boots and hats on it. Then I sat a bunch of little doggies wearing six shooters and deputy badges on their vests around it with my cowboy statue guarding everything.

Boot Tree

In between all the travel and book releases I enjoyed being with my friends. I have some of the best friendships ever made.

But now I’m ready to get back to work. I need to finish up book #2 of my Men of Legend series and get the third one written. I’m really loving this series that has the big feel of Bonanza about it. A father and his three sons live on a huge ranch called The Lone Star. Their last name is Legend. I think readers will love it. And I have to turn in a proposal for another series that will come after Men of Legend. One thing about it, writers never have much time to sit around twiddling their thumbs. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

 

Left Foot, Right Foot by Linda Broday

LindaBroday2Do you remember what it was like to put your foot into the wrong shoe? Young children do this all the time. I still remember how uncomfortable it felt. But did you know that up until as late as 1850 shoemakers didn’t differentiate between the left and the right? They made both shoes straight with no curve to them. I can only imagine how awful they were to wear.

Change came with the invention of sewing machines and machinery for making shoes and finally they were able to produce left and right ones.

In FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE that released yesterday, Rayna Harper has such an issue with her shoes. In the beginning chapters, she makes Brett Liberty promise to give her his moccasins when they hang him for being a half-breed. Then later in the story, he buys her first pair of women’s shoes and she treasures them so much she carries them back to the boardinghouse. She won’t wear them because she doesn’t want to get them dirty. Until then, all she has are a pair of too large men’s brogans with their cracked dry leather and a hole in the sole.

ForeverTexasBridemedEach of the two previous books were special and came from the deepest part of my heart, but I’ve saved the best for last with this third and final book of the series. Brett Liberty’s story goes to the very core of who I am and what I stand for. Being a half-breed was the worst thing for a man in the 1800s because he straddled two worlds with neither claiming him. In this story, Brett faces pure hatred to the point that others want him dead. He’s never been with a woman, never known the softness of a woman’s touch or the feel of her lips on his. But when he meets pickpocket Rayna Harper in the jail cell next to him, he finds a kindred spirit. The brush of her hand is almost unbearable in its tenderness and when she curls up beside him on the narrow bunk, she curls up inside his heart. This is a story of never giving up hope and reaching for a forbidden love that others are bent on denying. It’s about how through compassion you can change people’s belief’s. Brett’s and Rayna’s deep love binds them together like a strip of the toughest rawhide and won’t let them go.

In this excerpt, Rayna thinks Brett bought her the new shoes and some new dresses because he pities her. That he sees her as a shivering mutt left by the side of the road. That makes her so mad.

Here’s the excerpt:

Her chin rose. “I understand everything now. You said you took me from the jail because you saw someone worth saving. I can save myself. I don’t need you. You’re no better than those tambourine bangers always preaching that I’m bound for hell.”

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, she continued, her voice barely louder than a whisper. “You consider it your duty to care for the poor, pitiful bone-picker’s daughter.” Her lips trembled. “I can manage on my own. You can keep your pity and the fancy clothes and shoes.” She whirled and ran toward the house.

Rayna had gotten only a few steps when Brett caught her arm, halting her progress. His dark eyes glittered like stones. “Pity? Is that what you think? Lady, the last thing I feel is pity. Good God! I said what I did just now because I don’t want false pretenses between us. You deserve honesty.”

shoe3What she deserved…how about a handful of broken dreams and empty hopes? Nothing ever changed—hope and despair just repeated in one endless cycle. Over and over and over again.

She jerked free. Plopping down on the porch steps, she untied her kid leather boots and hurled one at him. He caught it with ease. Infuriated, she threw the second one. She muttered an oath when he made a left-handed catch, his dark brows knitted.

Shooting the buttery-soft footwear as well as the man holding them a glare, she raced into the house and up the stairs. By the time she made it to her room, the burning behind her eyes materialized. Silent tears trickled down her cheeks. She swept the purchases of that morning onto the floor and curled up on the bed.

She had to get out of Battle Creek. But how would she be able to leave when her heart desperately wanted to stay?

* * * *

I’m a big movie fan and, when I’m writing, I see everything unfolding in my mind like I’m watching a movie. What was the last movie you went to see and how did you like it? I’m giving a copy of FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE to one person who leaves a comment.

 

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