Tag: Marin Thomas

Touring the American Old West

Dear readers

I invite you to come along as I share my travels through the American old west. I’m thrilled to be one of the new fillies here at Petticoats & Pistols and I can’t wait to share my love of the Old West with you.

About me: Along with writing contemporary western romances I also write contemporary romantic women’s fiction.  You’ll find that all of my books are set in small towns and usually include a few quirky characters. My stories incorporate the themes of home, family and redemption. This September I will publish my 40th project for Harlequin Books and my current series is called, Cowboys of Stampede, Texas. I also write small-town romances for Tule Publishing’s Montana Born line and Sweet Home Cowboy is my latest release.






And I’m a member of the Tall Poppy Writers. You  can find out more about my small-town romantic women’s fiction novels as well as my western books on my Website.


If you follow me on social media then you know I love junk. My friends call me vintage Marin because I love flea markets so much. If you haven’t heard of Junk in the Trunk you should check it out!

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been comfortable around old stuff. I find ideas for my stories and characters when I browse through people’s castoffs. My love of antiques goes right along with my love of history and the old west. One of my hobbies is researching ghost tours and haunted old west towns. Sadly I’ve never experienced an encounter with a ghost but I love taking tours that share the history of the haunted locations.  Hubby and I currently live in Phoenix and we’re recent empty nesters so we’re using our newfound freedom to travel the beautiful Grande Canyon State.

This past July my husband and I ventured out on Route 66 in northern Arizona. You can find all of my travel photos on my Instagram page.


Winslow, Arizona

Route 66 Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona has been on my bucket list for years.

For those of you who are confused this video Take it Easy by the Eagles band will explain it and reveal my age, lol!

Drift Inn Saloon

After Winslow we got off Route 66 and stopped at the copper mining town of Globe, Arizona and had lunch at the haunted Drift Inn Saloon—one of oldest continuously operating saloons in the state, opening its doors in 1902. The Drift Inn Saloon has been named one of the top five biker-destination bars in the state by the Arizona Republic newspaper and one of the “Magnificent 7” saloons by Arizona Highways Magazine. The second floor was originally opened as a boarding house for miners then turned into a brothel a few years later.


The bar is a living icon of the Old West, with its original tin ceiling. A Frank Olsen mural of Monument Valley is painted along one wall and hanging above the image are vintage portraits of soiled doves, which pay homage to the ladies who once worked in the brothel above the bar.

When I learned the bartender Eileen, was one of the owners of the bar, I bombarded her with questions about the history of the building. She and her partner had lived on the second floor for several years while they renovated the bar. She claimed the building was haunted and then asked if I’d like to go upstairs and look around. Of course I said YES!

Eileen told stories about the building that the local old-timers had shared with her after she bought the place. Several mediums have walked through the building and confirmed that spirits inhabit the premises. One of the rooms is said to be full of trapped souls unable to escape. And room 18 is said to be a very dark, evil room. A young woman stands in the shower and watches people in the bathroom. And of course there’s the nasty spirit of a man who wanders the upstairs. The medium couldn’t tell the owners for sure who he was but they believe he may be either Joseph Ludwig, a local miner who was murdered in one of the upstairs rooms in 1906 or the man who murdered him.


As a writer we romanticize cowboys and the old west in our stories… because who wants to read about smelly, bowlegged men who bathe once a month and are missing half their teeth? But that afternoon in Globe as I walked past the twenty-five rooms on the second floor of the Drift Inn Saloon, I had to acknowledge that life in the old west could be cruel, harsh and deadly.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my experience at the Drift Inn Saloon. I can’t wait to share with you the other Route66 places and towns in Arizona. And since this is my first blog as an official P&P filly, let’s do a giveaway!



Tell me if you’ve ever had a paranormal experience or taken a ghost tour and your name will be entered into a drawing to receive a digital copy of my sweet western novella, The Bull Rider’s Pledge. I’ll reveal the winner’s name in the comment section of this blog post on Saturday August 12th.

Until next time…Happy Trails!



P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway). You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.


The Bunkhouse

MarinThomasAuthorPhoto2014jpgHello, Marin Thomas here.  I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger again at Petticoats and Pistols!  Before I start gabbing about the history of the bunkhouse, I want to let readers know that I’m offering a giveaway.  If you leave a comment on this blog, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a Kindle copy or a signed paperback of A Cowboy Of Her Own.  If you’ve already read the book, no worries—I’ll send you a Kindle or paperback of A Rodeo Man’s Promise—this book introduces you to the characters in my upcoming series for Harlequin American Romance…Cowboys of the Rio Grande.  

The Bunkhouse

The Bunkhouse, often referred to as the Dive, the Shack, the Doghouse, the Dump, the Dicehouse or Ram Pasture, is a symbol of the Old West and has been glamorized in romance novels for decades.  But the truth about this western icon is that bunkhouses were not very pleasant to live in.


Cowboy pay on most ranches ranged from from the 1870s to the turn of the century.  The quality of a ranch’s bunkhouse and chuck wagon grub often determined how long a cowboy remained on a particular spread.  Cowboys did all the dirty, dangerous work that made millionaires of cattle kings.  They worked at a time when there were no unions, worker’s comp, safety regulations, pension plans, or health insurance.  There was no mandatory retirement age so many cowboys worked until they died.


When cowboys weren’t riding the trail, the bunkhouse became their home.  The size depended on the wealth of the rancher.  Most were small with several beds or cots crammed inside.  A woodstove provided heat and if space allowed there would be a table and chairs, where the hands could play cards. After supper the cowboys might swap tales, play dice or practical jokes on one another.


An outhouse was usually nearby but not the most pleasant of places to visit. The bunkhouse was cold in the winter and stiflingly hot in the summer and there was no shortage of vermin who took up residence inside with the cowboys.  Since most cowboys didn’t bathe during the winter months they got used to lice in their beds and on their heads—not to mention the foul odor of unwashed bodies.

This month the final book in my Cash Brothers series released (A Cowboy of Her Own) and throughout all six books I’ve included a scene that takes place in the “bunkhouse” on the Cash family pecan farm.

This modern day bunkhouse was constructed when the Cash brothers’ sister, Dixie Cash (A Cowboy’s Duty) married and claimed the farmhouse for her and her husband.  All six of her bachelor brothers moved into the bunkhouse, which was a large aluminum Tuff shed with indoor plumbing.


Willie Nelson Cash (Her Secret Cowboy) works in construction and spearheaded the project.  The brothers decorated the bunkhouse with a huge plasma TV, which Conway Twitty’s twins broke (Twins Under The Christmas Tree).  The brothers hung rodeo posters above the beds that lined the walls and ate their meals at a picnic table, which became the scene of a family Thanksgiving dinner in (The Cowboy Next Door).  One by one, the Cash Brothers married off, leaving fewer and fewer brothers, living in the bunkhouse until only Porter Wagoner remained (A Cowboy Of Her Own).

ACowboyofHerOwnMedHow many of you have seen the inside a real bunkhouse before? Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Cowboy of Her Own or A Rodeo Man’s promise!

http://youtu.be/YHqy9js3zjw (Youtube link to A Cowboy Of Her Own book trailer)


Marin Thomas Bio

I write women’s fiction novels for Penguin/NAL Trade and series romance for Harlequin American Romance.  And I can’t explain any better than this why I love writing western romances…  “The image of the West and the romance of the West are not going to die. Because it’s the very heart of America. Not only the image of a person on horseback working cattle. But the set of values that it represents. Things like individualism, independence, and freedom. And honesty, integrity. The work ethic. Dedication to your family, and conviction about your belief in God. And practicing common decency and respect for your fellow man every day you live.” ~Red Steagall

My husband and I are recent empty-nesters and live in Texas, where cowboys, pickups and country music provide plenty of inspiration for my western books.  Be on the lookout in 2015 for my newest Harlequin series, Cowboys of the Rio Grande.  The first book in the series, A Cowboy’s Redemption, releases in June.  If you’d like to keep up to date on both my women’s fiction novels and my Harlequin romances please sign up for my Newsletter.

Website   Facebook   Twitter  Pinterest  The Cash Brothers


Marin Thomas Shares Her Cash Brothers

CashBrothers_BusinessCard_#2(The Fillies welcome Contemporary Western Romance Author, Marin Thomas. Linda Broday met her two months ago and invited her to guest blog. We’re mighty glad Marin said yes.)

For those of you who don’t know me well, I have a whacky sense of humor. It came as no surprise to hubby when I told him about the idea I came up with for my next Harlequin American Romance proposal. My odd sense of humor and love for country music resulted in The Cash Brothers series (six brothers all named after country and western legends by their eccentric mother whose lifelong search for her soul mate left each of her sons with a different father.)

Brenda_2012_Harlequin_BlogJohnny Cash (The Cowboy Next Door)
Conway Twitty Cash (Twins Under the Christmas Tree)
Willie Nelson Cash (Her Secret Cowboy)
Buck Owens Cash (The Cowboy’s Destiny)
Merle Haggard Cash (True Blue Cowboy)
Porter Wagoner Cash (A Cowboy of her Own)

Anyone who writes about cowboys and ranchers usually has a fondness for country music and I’m no exception. My parents never listened to country music when I was young but the mother of one of my childhood friends did. During the summer while my friend’s mother was at work, we’d play her collection of country-music albums and hold our own karaoke contest in the living room. Little did I know then that I’d become a Harlequin author and name the heroes in my books after country and western legends. I’m thrilled that my readers have embraced The Cash Brothers and that the books are bringing back memories of days gone by when they or their parents listened to the songs by these country greats.

I’m often asked if I gave the characters any real-life traits from their namesakes and the answers is yes and no. If you do any research on these music legends you’ll discover that they all had their ups and downs through life and made their fair share of mistakes. In True Blue Cowboy I made a reference that Mack Cash had been bailed out of jail by his brothers a few times for fighting in bars. The real Merle Haggard Cash spent time in San Quentin but was later pardoned by Ronald Regan.

Last year when the series debuted with The Cowboy Next Door, I created a music poll for my readers and asked them to name their favorite Johnny Cash song. The honor went to Ring of Fire, which I made mention of in the actual book.


Marin is giving away to one lucky winner (Reader’s choice) a Kindle copy or signed paperback of the first two books in The Cash Brothers series, The Cowboy Next Door (July 2013) and Twins Under The Christmas Tree (October 2013). Do you have a favorite country and western song? Leave a comment on this blog to enter the giveaway!


You can find a list of The Cash Brothers books with links to “BUY” at marinthomas.com
Here’s where you’ll find Marin hanging out…

Happy Ever After…The Cowboy Way
The Cash Brothers FB page
Marin Thomas Author FB page
Marin’s Blog
Marin’s Cowgirl Gossip

Marin was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin. She left the Midwest to attend college at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she played basketball for the Lady Wildcats and earned a B.A. in Radio-TV. Following graduation she married her college sweetheart in a five-minute ceremony at the historic Little Chapel of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada. She and her husband have become recent empty-nesters and this past July moved back to Texas for the third time, where cowboys, pickups and country music provide plenty of inspiration for her western books.

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