CHERYL ST. JOHN IS HERE WITH A GIVEAWAY!

I’m delighted to visit Petticoats and Pistols and check in with all my friends. After twenty-five years under contract, I took a year and a half away from writing to care for and nurture a new grandbaby. During that wonderful and exhausting time, I refreshed my mojo so that I could write with renewed energy. I also promised myself that from then on, I would only write books I love. And that’s what I’ve been doing.

One of the things I especially like to do is take a character out of their place of comfort and put them into a new and difficult situation to see how they react. This is exactly what I did when I created Raylene Cranford, a gently-raised Southern belle whose new husband and father were killed in the brother’s war. She and her childhood friend survived through the winter in the burned-out remains of her family home, living on acorns and scrawny rabbits, and eventually made their way north to safety.

Determined and resourceful, the two are able to turn a family member’s home into a boarding house to support themselves. The system of male-dominated households existed to protect the weaker gentler sex. All Raylene knows how to do is maintain appearances and reputation, and to perfect the feminine graces—like modesty, piety and meekness—qualities that made a Southern woman the center of attention.

Here’s an interesting article about how the war left these young women at a loss with no way to fulfill the roles they’d been primed to fill:

https://daily.jstor.org/life-really-like-southern-belles-civil-war/

 

Raylene’s behavior does not go over well with the gaggle of more practical, capable and single women of Twin Springs, Colorado. Nor does her exaggerated drawl endear her to the former Union Army captain who spent months in a confederate prison.

But Tanner Bell has bigger problems. He’s just become solely responsible for a newborn. He owns a livery, where he lives in a tiny back room. His current arrangement will not do for taking care of a newborn. The most convenient solution is to rent a room at the boarding house. Also convenient is asking his industrious new landlady to help him care for the baby.

All Raylene knows is the past. Tanner is focused on the future. It might seem they have nothing in common, but the more they come to know about each other, the more similar they truly are. Both have faced loss and endured hardships. Both are acutely aware of racial injustice and are making a difference by helping change lives and hearts in their community. Both want the best for the tiny girl who has won their hearts.

Raylene’s journey is one of self-discovery. I enjoyed unwrapping these characters to get to the heart of matters, and I hope readers will enjoy reading their story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

Have you ever been out of your comfort zone and having to learn how to reinvent yourself? I’m offering three e-books from the choice of my backlist! 

Thank you so much to all the Fillies for the warm welcome, and a big howdy to all my friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUY LINK: https://tinyurl.com/ya3r25kt

Cheryl’s amazon author page:  https://tinyurl.com/y6js92y8

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cheryl-st-john

Like Cheryl’s Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/CherylStJ

 

Guest Blogger

I Have a WINNER!

 

I know it’s early – but I try to spend the evenings with my husband, so I leave my office early. Thank you everyone, for making me feel so welcome – I know I’m going to love it here!

The winner of my July release, Cowboy for Keeps, is, KRISTI!

Watch for an email from me.

In case you didn’t win, and want to check it out – HERE is a link to buying sites.

Have fun, and stay safe everyone.

Laura

Laura Drake
Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.
Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding. Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 12 more books. She is a founding member of Women's Fiction Writers Assn, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
Updated: July 9, 2020 — 3:41 pm

City Girl > Country Girl

I’m Laura Drake, the newest Filly in the stable, and proud to be here! 

I wanted to introduce myself and let you know what you’re getting into with me (cue evil laugh).

My twelfth Western releases on the 28th (pause for a loud squee!). I’m probably a horse of a different color here, in that I came at this western thing later in life. 

See, I was born in the Northwest suburbs of Detroit – Yeah, city-girl AND a Yankee. When the job market died there, and I got sick of the snow, my sister and I moved, sight unseen, to Southern California (they really shouldn’t televise the Rose Bowl to the frozen Midwest). 

Closer to the west, but certainly not country. But that changed fast. See, I met an ex-pat bleed-maroon, Texas Aggie there. We fell in love, and that first Christmas, he took me home to momma – Midland, Texas.

That first Christmas – yeah, we haven’t changed much

There were a lot of eye-opening experiences that Christmas, but the best was, he took me to my first RODEO! It turns out the rodeo season kicks off every year twenty miles down the road in Odessa. 

I fell in love with it all, but especially with the bull riding. Then I discovered that bull riding was televised EVERY weekend! I was hooked.

I also discovered that the PBR came to a venue seven miles from our house in Southern California every January! 

Brendan Clark – cute, talented bull rider, AND a sexy Aussie accent!

I’d been writing small town series, but I switched to contemporary westerns, featuring, you guessed it, bull riders. Yeah, I’m a little obsessed – I’ve been to at least ten events, and five world finals – the most recent, last November in Las Vegas.

A broken leg (freak fly fishing accident) wasn’t going to keep me from the Finals!

Why bull riding? To me, it’s like a dangerous ballet. The riders are more like gymnasts than wrestlers. After all, you’re never going to out-muscle a 2,000 lb. bull, so it’s about staying balanced in the middle of a tornado. When it’s done right, and the stars align, it’s a beautiful dance.

But it’s also about the animal athletes – the bulls. They are bred to buck like thoroughbreds are bred to run, and it’s been a thrill to see the buckers improve the past decade.

We finally retired, left So Cal behind, and moved to Midland, Texas in 2014. 

So that’s my long winding road, from city-girl to country girl. It took me a long time, but I got here as soon as I could! 

Bullrider Jory Markiss with my RITA winner, The Sweet Spot!

I’m so looking forward to blogging and chatting with Y’all! 

To kick this off, I’d like to give away a copy of my July release, Cowboy for Keeps, to a random commenter. All you need to do is tell me,

What’s your favorite rodeo event? 

 

Here’s a bit about the book:

 

Laura Drake
Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.
Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding. Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 12 more books. She is a founding member of Women's Fiction Writers Assn, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
Updated: July 8, 2020 — 12:12 pm

Julie Benson’s Winner!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by today to talk about how men and women communicate differently. I appreciate all your wonderful comments. The laughs you gave me were priceless, and as we all know, laughter is the best medicine.

The winner of the Warrior Not Worrier cozy and Home On the Ranch:  Colorado Rescue is:

Diana Hardt

Congratulations! Look for an email from me on how to claim your giveaway. Thank you everyone who spent part of your day with me. Remember—Don’t go jumping any barbed wire naked, and everyone take care and stay safe!

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: July 9, 2020 — 9:34 am

Cheryl St. John Will Be Here Friday!

Former Filly and dear friend Cheryl St. John is coming to visit on Friday, July 10, 2020!

We’re so excited. It’s so nice to catch up with old friends and find out what they’re doing.

Miss Cheryl is going to talk about Southern Belles and how they spent their whole life learning social graces and to be a wife. Only to find all that a waste after the Civil War.

She’s going to give away 3 ebook copies and the winners choose from her backlist.

Come over and help us welcome her back.

We’re going to have a good ol’ time!

 

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: June 28, 2020 — 4:34 pm

To Marry A Texas Cowboy Cover Reveal!

Last week was crazy for me. I played What if…with a lot of you for June’s Game Day. I had a pin removed from my right index finger on Tuesday. The fourth book in my Wishing Texas Series, To Marry A Texas Cowboy, was due Wednesday, and then it was the Fourth of July weekend. Lesson learned? Consult my calendar more carefully when scheduling events and deadlines.

But I have a surprise for you, Today I received the final cover for the book!

Though I don’t have a release date yet, here’s the backcover copy for the book:

She lives by a set of rules. He aims to break each one.

When Zane Logan returns to Wishing, Texas, he’s shocked to learn that his grandmother has hired an assistant to manage her wedding planning business as she heals from surgery. With five marriages between his parents, just the thought of weddings breaks him out in hives. To look out for his grandmother’s financial interests, Zane takes charge. He doesn’t trust easily, especially when the assistant is prettier than a Texas spring day.

Childhood taught McKenna Stinson an important rule: never count on anyone but yourself. She dreams of working hard to have her own business. Stepping in for a successful wedding planner in a small town known for big weddings is the perfect opportunity…until her employer’s grandson announces he’s the new boss. He’s cynical about love and knows nothing about weddings—so why is she falling for him?

Even worse, Zane’s so hot McKenna has to make up two new rules: don’t date a man more attractive than you and never, ever, date a man you work with.

Being a mom to three sons has helped me create heroes. I learned early on males communicate differently. I wasn’t surprised to learn women use 20,000 words a day and men 7,000. In an interview Clint Eastwood said the first thing he did with a script was cut dialogue. Before I send a book off, I look for where my hero is too wordy. I also check for non “guy speak” dialogue. For example, men don’t use qualifiers. They don’t say “Would you like to…” or “What if we…” Nope. We women do that. Men simply cut to the chase. “Want to get pizza?”

From the book I just turned in, To Marry A Texas Cowboy:

Zane tried to tune out the women talking about how else Susannah would incorporate her color scheme. Who wanted to waste their New Year’s Eve at a wedding? Not him. Why did a bride have to ruin a perfectly good holiday and football night? From the color scheme, they chatted back and forth about whether they should eat or check out dresses first.

Ridiculous. It wouldn’t take him and his buddies a minute to decide. You hungry? No. Me neither. We’ll eat later. Done. Issue settled. But women made every discussion as hard as finding hair on a frog.

There are more ways men and women communicate differently, but I’ll leave those for another time. Today’s giveaway is a Warrior Not Worrier Cozy Sleeve and a copy of Home On The Ranch: Colorado Rescue. To be entered in the random drawing, leave a comment about the way men and women communicate differently or your thoughts on my cover or the backcover copy. Basically, just leave a comment and talk with me! 

 

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: July 7, 2020 — 6:00 pm

Phyliss Miranda Has a Winner!

Thanks everyone for coming to comment on my llama post! I loved it.

Now for the drawing…………..

The winner is TERESA F.

Congratulations, Teresa! Decide if you want the book or gift card.

And look for my email.

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: July 7, 2020 — 10:32 pm

Castles, Llamas and Texas

 

Texas is known for our longhorn steers, prairie dogs, and oil wells along with ranches, bunk houses and the wide open prairie, but little did I know about our famous ShangriLlama Castle. We have a lot of homes, particularly in Galveston, that could be considered castles, but this one is different.

On the grounds of a majestic Irish castle in Royse City, Texas, 30 miles northeast of Dallas, you’ll meet charming royalty such as King Dalai Llama, the leader, along with Prince Barack O’Llama, Duke Como T. Llama, and Earl Bahama Llama. There are a total of seven male pedigree llamas on the 10-acre private ranch and wedding venue.

This most unusual business began when Sharon and Paul Brucato’s son, Tommy, became intrigued with the wooly creatures while visiting a zoo. I personally got acquainted with a llama ranch in California, but never thought about one being in Texas.

The owners are quoted as saying that they thought owning llamas would be fun and a bonding experience for their family. They trained with a rescue animal before buying their own purebred llamas. The ranch evolved from there because of the interest of neighbors and friends.

Since 2018, the Brucato family, including Tommy’s wife Jenni, have hosted llama-themed weddings, along with fun, fact-filled llama lessons and walks, where guests and llamas enjoy a serene stroll along the Enchanted Forest TraiI was born and raised here in Texas and never even imagined there being a majestic Irish castle in the state much less a llama ranch.

Do you have any experiences with llamas? And would you want to, if you had the chance?

To one lucky reader who leaves a comment, I will give you your choice of an eBook copy of my newest Kasota Springs romances or a Bath and Body Works gift certificate.

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: July 6, 2020 — 4:25 pm

It’s Yee-Haw Day!

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!!

Margaret Brownley

Look what’s on sale for only $2.99!

The only thing threatening their success is love.

Amazon

 

 

A feisty widow; a dashing outlaw.  Something’s definitely afoot.

Amazon

Karen Witemeyer

It’s Christmas in July!

An Archer Family Christmas, the first novella in the An Old-Fashioned Texas Christmas 2-in-1 anthology is a finalist for the Faith, Hope, and Love’s Reader Choice Award. Yee Haw! I had so much fun revisiting the Archer brothers and their families in this one.

Grab a copy of the collection for as low as $4.99!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook


CHERYL PIERSON

I’ve got a story in a new Chicken Soup book, THE MAGIC OF MOMS!

My story is called “Seventeen” and is about those difficult teenage years. It appeared in the Chicken Soup for The Soul–Empty Nesters book a few years back, so I’m thrilled that they chose it to be included in this latest edition of a new Chicken Soup book recently! 

Here’s the link!

https://amzn.to/3dQiE71

 

Karen Kay

PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN is back in print after being out of print for nearly 25 years.  This is recently re-edited and is the 25th Year Anniversary special edition of one of my most popular books.  It was the 3rd book I wrote for AVON/HarperCollins and is a companion book for LAKOTA SURRENDER.  The paperback will be on sale for $9.99.  My paperbacks are usually $13.99, but with all the strangeness in the world nowadays, I’ve dropped the pricing of the paperback to $9.99.  The e-book is on sale for $4.99.  This book is on sale at Barnes & Noble, KOBO, Itunes and Amazon.  It is also on sale at many different libraries worldwide.

Pick up and read your copy today.  https://tinyurl.com/y8x5p4qs

 

Phyliss Miranda

I don’t have to remind you all these last few months have been trying on all of us, but I want to share some good news from my family. I have two grandsons who graduated, one from high school and one from college. Although neither got to walk the stage or have a senior prom. They are both okay with it, each for different reasons.

My middle grandson, Ty, graduated from high school, but all he wanted was to “graduate”, since he’d already enlisted in the Navy and will be leaving today for Chicago. Since he’s an Eagle Scout he was sworn in while a senior. When he’s finished with basic training, he’ll go to Connecticut for submarine training. I’m so proud of him for wanting to serve and protect our country.

Our oldest grandson, Alex, graduated from University of North Texas, and since he has a very good niche job, all he cared about was getting his diploma. Now here’s the exciting turn of events. His PawPa wasn’t able to walk the stage when he graduated college, since he was on his way to Vietnam. His mama got his diploma in the mail. Alex was in town on business last week and his diploma was mailed here. It arrived about ten minutes before he got to the house and his PawPa got to present him with it. It was a very special event for everyone.

I hope and pray we all get some relief from what is hanging over our heads, but these are just two of my family blessings that have come about during the pandemic. Blessings to all you all.

 

Fillies

Welcome Our New Filly!

Hey everyone, a new Filly has tied her horse in the corral! We’re so happy to welcome Laura Drake.

Miss Laura is a New York and self-published published author of Women’s Fiction and Romance.

Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding.  Her debut novel, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 12 more books. She is a founding member of Women’s Fiction Writers Assn, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

She’s gonna fit in just fine here! So, help us welcome her. Her first post will be Thursday, July 9th.

Come over and show her the kind of welcome we’re famous for! Yee-Haw!

 

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: July 5, 2020 — 11:14 am