Tag: Petticoats & Pistols

Author Evelyn M. Hill…His Forgotten Fiancée 

 

 Welcome Evelyn M. Hill, author of His Forgotten Fiancée!  

 

 

                                    Book Description

                                                   BUY

Liza Fitzpatrick is stunned when her fiancé finally arrives in Oregon City — with amnesia. Matthew Dean refuses to honor a marriage proposal he doesn’t recall making, but Liza needs his help now to bring in the harvest, and maybe she can help him remember…

Matthew is attracted to the spirited Liza, and as she tries to help him regain his old memories, the new ones they’re creating together start to make him feel whole. Even as he falls for her again, though, someone’s determined to keep them apart. Will his memory return in time to save their future?

 

I will never write about a character who goes bungee jumping.

When possible, I try out the tasks my characters have to do. I want to know what it is like to cook biscuits on a cast iron griddle, how heavy a rifle is when I hold it, how wearing a prairie bonnet limits my peripheral vision like a horse with blinders and what it’s like to use a scythe.

When I wrote His Forgotten Fiancée, I had to write about Matthew using a scythe to harvest crops. He was a lawyer by profession; he knew as much as I do on the subject. I read about people scything, but that’s not nearly as effective as hands-on research.

Googling lead me to Scythe Supply. They sell scythes that are customized to your height, so you can use them comfortably.

                                                               Winslow Homer, Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

They made it sound so easy to use one. And I did want to know what it felt like to scythe. Besides, my lawn was looking something like this:

                                                          Jim Clark, USFWS, Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

All right, I have to confess. It wasn’t only for research. There were other reasons to try using a scythe. While my lawn is really too small to hire someone to come take care of it, I can’t cut the grass with a gas-powered lawnmower. Something about these lawnmowers triggers an allergic reaction. I don’t have problems with a push-reel mower, but those don’t do as good a job when the grass is wet. And in the Pacific Northwest, in spring and fall, the grass is pretty much always wet. Using a scythe appealed on more than one level.

So I got one and tried it out. I have to say that I loved, loved, loved how quiet the experience was. I hate the sound of my neighbors’ gas-powered motors. When I scythed, I could hear the birds singing over the swish of the scythe through the grass, and I had no problems breathing. Bonus, my arms got a workout. They felt a little sore when I was done, but not horribly so. And my lawn ended up looking like this:

This is what I wrote for Matthew’s experience of scything for the first time:

Matthew discovered he liked using the scythe. Gripping the snath, he swept the blade in an arc, keeping it low to the ground. The cradle attached to one side of the scythe scooped up the wheat stalks and laid them out on the ground to his left. Then he stepped forward and swept the scythe again. Another step, another sweep of the blade. He could mark his passage through the field by the ever-lengthening row of stalks lying on the ground on his left. The kitten watched for a little while before going off to explore the bushes along the stream.

Liza followed behind him. She gathered up the stalks, winding another stalk of wheat around the bundle and tying it into a knot. He stole a glance at her. Her fair face was flushed, and sweat trickled down and she wiped her brow, but she did not stop bending over and gather up the stalks.

It was laborious work at first, but soon he developed a rhythm. The heat of the sun beat through the thin cotton of his shirt, and sweat trickled between his shoulder blades. But soon, he lost awareness of everything but the swish of the scythe, the sound of bird song, and the sense that he was participating in life, becoming part of something greater than himself. There was a definite feeling of satisfaction when he reached the end of the row and looked back and see what he had accomplished. Here, the results of his efforts were tangible and immediately rewarding, not just moving paper from the In tray to the Out tray.  —

GIVEAWAY!

For a chance to win a signed copy of His Forgotten Fiancée answer Evelyn’s question and  leave a comment on this blog post.  

QUESTION: Have you tried using a scythe? I admit, I’m not sure I’d like to have to use one to harvest the south 40, but for a tiny, rain-soaked lawn? It’s got a lot to recommend it.

 

 

Evelyn M. Hill 

According to family tradition, Evelyn M. Hill is descended from a long line of Texas horse thieves. (But when your family is not only Texan, but Irish, tall tales come with the territory.) This might explain why she devoted much of her childhood to writing stories about horses. Once she grew up, the stories naturally featured a tall, handsome cowboy as well. She lives at the end of the Oregon Trail, where she gets to do all her historical research in person, and she loves to hear from readers!

His Forgotten Fiancée released January 1, 2018  

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WAGES OF SIN by Valerie Hansen

My new motto is “Fearless and Faithful; Women Who Dare”. And dare I have – by releasing an ebook, WAGES OF SIN, a 94,000 word saga that was written for a very special lady – Me. Anyone who is published will identify with that claim.

 

It all started years back when, on one of our many trips all over the US, we happened to stop in New Mexico where local skirmishes dubbed the “Lincoln County War” took place. Talk about fascinating! Not only were the lines between sides blurred, the good guys and the bad guys were sometimes interchangeable, depending on which judge happened to be in power and how mad he was at various ranchers – and sheepmen. Gotta remember them. It was the murder of one of the sheep raisers that supposedly started the gunplay. Don’t let anybody tell you Tunstall was a cattleman and store owner. The guy started with sheep, so you know how popular that made him, no matter what else he tried to do later.

 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we have to figure out how schoolteacher Ruby McKay is going to rescue her late sister Emma’s baby from the cruel husband who beat Emma to death, ostensibly the chastise her, shortly after she gave birth to their son. Even if pious, pompous Judge Caleb Stone had not purposely killed his young wife, what kind of a father will he be to the innocent babe? Ruby has experienced his cruelty firsthand and knows what she must do. She has friends who have promised to help her get out ofKansas, until she’s forced to shoot Caleb, maiming him and unwittingly branding herself as an escaping   criminal.

I like to think I would be as brave and resourceful as Ruby but being on the run with a newborn in the late 1870s is far different than simply fleeing as an individual. She’ll continue to need outside help and will get it from some very strange folks, like Billy the Kid and wealthy rancher John Chisum.

To quote part of the Author Disclaimer in the front of WAGES OF SIN, “… this is more gritty in tone and language than what you’re used to from Valerie Hansen. I had a strong reason for writing the story this way; I wanted to show that just because a person may be able to quote scripture like an orator, that does not mean that he is spiritual. In my view, one of the most heinous crimes possible is using the Bible for anything but good. Yet it happens. And, as in this story, “the wages of sin is death.” (Sometimes it just takes longer than we think it should.) Don’t worry, readers; remember, the rougher the road, the sweeter the arrival!”

 

Which brings me to the end of this visit. There is a long excerpt on Amazon that will give you a good idea about this ebook and it is my fondest wish that you will take the time to look it over.

 

I’ll be offering copies of WAGES OF SIN to two lucky readers who post here. It will be in the form of an Amazon email gift certificate

and delivered to be read on your computer or Kindle if the winner lives in theUSA. If a winner happens to live in another country, I’ll substitute one of my

previously published novels in paperback.