Hello, Petticoats & Pistols readers! I’m Caryl McAdoo, hybrid (traditional and independently published) author of several Christian genres, and I am so glad to be here with you today!
I grew up in Dallas, Texas and only remember going to Fort Worth one time as a child when my parents took me to their zoo.
I always thought of it as a wild town and not nearly as cultured and refined as Big D! “Where the West begins!” they say of Cowtown, and I believed them!
It wasn’t until my early forties that I visited the city again on an invitation from a writer friend and his wife for dinner and an evening at the Stockyards. I had a wonderful time and was quite amazed with the Fort Worth I never knew! I’ve been back many times since.
The photo is me and a friend on her birthday outing with Bass Hall, our destination, in the background.
So, when I started writing book three in my historical Cross Timbers Mystery series, COERCION at The Cow Palace, I decided to set the story in a notorious half acre in 1870’s Fort Worth history! I loved the research!
The famous Chisholm Trail went right through ”Cowtown”! Its dust and beef weary cowboys would gallop into town shooting their pistols and even riding their horses right into the saloons! A red-light, gambling district sprang up that indulged the cowpokes’ vices.
The area became quite famous for its lawlessness, giving Hell’s Half Acre its memorable name and less-than-angelic reputation. That’s right where I set The Cow Palace, COERCION’s setting for the murder that needed to be solved.
In researching, I also discovered two things that kept the town from flourishing as Dallas had. The first was a faraway bank failure!
In 1872, the Texas & Pacific Railroad had laid track through Dallas—bringing prosperity and growth—and about six miles west of the city to Eagle’s Ford. The company stopped only twenty-four miles from Fort Worth before disaster struck.
Bankers to the U.S. government, Jay Cooke & Company, failed up in New York causing an international panic. Cooke was also major financial backers for the railroads. The bank’s collapse devasted Fort Worth’s future! Almost overnight, the population dwindled from four thousand to less than a thousand.
One former resident reported to a Dallas paper that Fort Worth was so deserted, he witnessed a black panther sleeping in the street. This gave Fort Worth a new nickname, Panther City or Pantherville.
The other factor was a terrible winter in the same year.
So, the city “Where the West Begins” got set back and became known as a wilder, less cultural place than its nearby sister-city Dallas
Excerpt from COERCION:
The youngest woman definitely knew Fort Worth better than either Charity or Vivian, from Dallas County. She filled in a lot of Cow Town’s history she’d learned along the way. Arriving at the new dress shop, the boardwalks were practically empty.
Where were all its customers?
“Well, my goodness, it’s like a ghost town or something.” Vivian stepped out of the carriage first. Virgil offered his hand to help her down. “Where are all the people?”
“There used to be a lot more, but so many left last winter.”
“I know it was a bad one, but why would so many leave?” Charity was last out of the carriage. “Thank you, Virgil. I’m certain you do not want to come into the shop with us, so you may either wait at the door or sit with Gilbert.”
“Yes, Miss Charity.” He hurried ahead and held the shop door for the ladies.
“The weather was only a part of it. You know they just had an orgy of building once everyone heard the railroad was coming.”
Charity glanced at Vivian. The young woman had an odd way of saying things.
“Then in August—or was it September?—anyway, some bank up in the Northeast went under. Supposedly, they’d invested in railroads pretty heavily. In no time, a lot more banks and railroads failed.”
“What a shame.”
“You know the tracks stopped in Eagle Ford and never made it here. Businesses all over town were closing right and left.”
“That’s too bad. Now that you mention it, a lot of new folks came to Delaware Creek last fall.” Vivian turned to face Charity. “The Banks and the Gregorys are from Fort Worth. Oh, and the Winslows, too. They had a gun repair shop here that closed.”
“I’ve met them and the Banks, but don’t think I know the Gregorys yet. You’ll have to introduce me. Do they come to the barn dances?”
“I think they have.”
“Well, that’s a shame some bank up in the North would have such a terrible impact on the city. Morgan has mentioned how the train not coming on into Fort Worth hurt its growth.”
“Oh, it was truly devasting. So many lost their homes, too.”
“How is it you’re aware of all that, Yolanda?”
“Oh, you know, Miss Viv. I hear things from some of the city’s big men of finance who frequent the Palace.”
COERCION at The Cow Palace debuted January 12th, so is now available at Amazon and subscribers to Kindle Unlimited may read it for free—all of my titles (except a few published by New York houses) are in that great readers’ program! I hope you’ll enjoy it and the Texas history I’ve included in the story!
I pray all the great authors and readers at Petticoats & Pistols have a BLESSED and wonderful New Year! May God shower you all in His high favor!
GIVEWAWAY: I would love to offer an eBook of DUPLICITY at The Lowell House, book one in the Cross Timbers Mystery series! Just answer this question to be entered! Have you ever visited Fort Worth, Texas or had an inkling to?
BIO: Award-winning, Christian author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory. Of her best-selling novels, readers love her historical Christian romance family sagas most, but she also writes Christian contemporary romance, mysteries, Biblical fiction, and also for young adults and mid-grade booklovers. The large majority of reviewers award her stories five-stars and praise Caryl’s characters, counting them family or very close friends. The prolific writer loves singing the new songs God gives her almost as much as penning tales—hear a few at YouTube! Married to Ron over fifty years, she shares four children and twenty-one grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.
Who hasn’t seen a red barn before? They’re traditional, they stand out, and the color is practical.
But there’s history as to how the red evolved on barns. Back in the 1700s, in the northeast part of the country, farmers covered them with thick vertical boards, allowing them to weather gray over time.
Later, in the mid-1800s, farmers went horizontal with the boards to close up drafts and improve warmth and efficiency for their animals. These horizontal boards, clapboards as we know them, were sawed thin. Because of their thinness, they needed paint for protection to lengthen their longevity, in addition to improving their appearance.
During that time, people mixed their own paint with a pigment combination of linseed oil, flax seeds, and other ingredients. Pigment, of course, adds color, and the favorite of the time was called “Venetian Red,” so called because the pigment was made from natural clays found near Venice, Italy, and contained an iron oxide compound that made the red color.
This red pigment penetrated well into barn boards, resisted fading in the sun, and aged well for generations. Although later in the 1800s, farmers turned to other colors of paint like yellows, greens, browns, and of course white, red remained popular, mainly because it was so affordable.
In my copy of the 1927 Sears Roebuck catalogue, a 5 gallon can of red barn paint was $1.30/gallon.
They offered 35 other colors of paint in 5 gallon cans for $2.20/gallon.
You can see the savings, and who could blame a farmer? He’d save almost twice as much going with the traditional barn red.
Fast forward to today, barns have gotten quite large. Large enough to hold hundreds of cows, chickens, or pigs, in fact. That large, they can come pre-fabricated, built out of metal and resemble warehouses or even an airplane hangar, and thank goodness, no one would have to paint one of those, right?
Still, the traditional red barn endures for smaller structures and remain so beloved the US Postal Service celebrated them on postage stamps.
Driving down the interstate or highway, you might see a big American flag on a barn’s roof. Or a political candidate’s name. These quilt barns are especially popular!
What is the most unusually painted barn you’ve seen?
Starting TODAY, Tule Publishing has set the first book in my Blackstone Ranch series, A COWBOY AND A PROMISE, to Free!
I’m fortunate to land a BookBub deal that will arrive in email boxes on Thursday. My book will remain FREE for a limited time, so if you haven’t read the series yet, now is the time to grab the book that started it all!
This past December, the Witemeyer family escaped Texas for a family vacation several years in the making. With a wedding and college graduation this spring for my son, and my daughter knee-deep in research and conferences for her PhD program, our window of opportunity for family vacations has been dwindling. Thankfully, the stars aligned just right for us to squeeze in a trip to Disney World before we all start going our separate ways. We invited my son’s fiancé and my youngest son’s girlfriend to join in the fun, and we had a fabulous time. So many photos and memories.
Of course, my favorite land to visit in Magic Kingdom is Frontierland. My western-loving heart enjoyed hearing the piped in oater music, seeing the Liberty Belle riverboat, and getting absorbed into the wild west atmosphere. My favorite ride is of course Big Thunder Mountain, and it was so much fun reading all the signs posted around the mining company as we waited for our chance to ride.
If my next book happens to feature a terrible twosome named the Hash Knife Outfit known for tomfoolery and habitual bungling, you’ll know where the idea came from. Or maybe my next heroine will take a job in the Hard Times Café. Lot’s of possibilities there.
Some other fun frontier moments came at Epcot where we visited the American Adventure theater to relive America’s past with Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin as our hosts.
And you know I wasn’t going to miss everybody’s favorite cowboy in Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios.
So many fun opportunities for inspiration. Like this masked gang of suspicious characters heading to the shooting gallery to stir up trouble.
It’s a good thing I found a pencil to make notes for my next book idea!
Did you travel at all over the Christmas break? Where did you go? Have you been to Disney World or Disneyland? What are your favorite rides/experiences?
Well, today I’m going to do something that is considered a no-no in the promotional world of books. I’m going to tell you a bit about an older title of mine, WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH, which will be coming out in the next few days as a 25th Anniversary book.
Let me explain: This book was originally written for AVON books in 1996-97 and published in 1998 (I think that’s right.) My husband and I were married in 1996 and so in the end of 1996 and the beginning of 1997, I was falling deeper and deeper in love with my husband. We had married in a whirlwind and so it was after we were married that we really started to get to know each other.
This is the new cover for the book. The male model, by the way, is Lakota Indian. And, he models under the name of “Lakota.”
In these anniversary books, we are correcting errors made when the book was converted to e-book from the original mass market. There is no plot change or anything like that. It’s just correcting computer errors made in the conversion. Also, I might give the book a few better word choices here and there.
But, it was in the editing of this book that I began to see how much I was (at that time) falling deeper and deeper in love with this man I had married. It’s there in the conversations between White Eagle and the heroine, Katrina. Both of them are changing in regards to each other. More love. More understanding. And, at that time, I guess I couldn’t help but write about how deeply I was in love with this man.
Our courtship (my husband and me) is pretty well illustrated in the first book in this series, GRAY HAWK’S LADY. But this book goes one step further.
So, in ending, I’ll leave the blurb for the book and an excerpt. Hope you’ll enjoy!
WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH
Two worlds. Forbidden love.
Blackfoot Warrior, Book 2
Katrina Wellington is vexed. She must marry to obtain the rest of her inheritance. But her uncle, who left her in New York with a governess to make his fortune out West, has suddenly decided he must approve of her fiancé before he will loosen the purse strings to her dowry.
Swallowing her outrage, the socialite treks to the same wilderness that claimed her parents’ lives years ago. Some small part of her is crestfallen that her uncle is not waiting with open arms. Only three guides, Indian guides, await her, and one of them is far too handsome for his own good.
At first, White Eagle does not like the spoiled, willful niece of the white trader. When he catches a glimpse of the vulnerability behind her prickly exterior, he can’t resist challenging the dazzling beauty to rediscover her true inheritance—the inner strength bequeathed to her by her parents.
Close contact on the trail soon arouses a soul-stirring passion and in its turn, love. But love may not be enough to sustain a relationship that is forbidden in both their worlds.
This book has been previously published.
Warning: Sensuous Romance that contains a captivating passion that could lead to a romantic evening spent in the company of one’s own love.
This is the original cover done for AVON Books. The excerpt is the first meeting between White Eagle and Katrina in the book (and after many years of being apart).
June 25, 1833
“I say, what vision of loveliness descends upon us now? Is she a princess, a queen? Do you think I should bow? Or is she a mere fleeting whiff of my fancy? Oh, dear, I don’t think I can rhyme fancy…can you see?” The Marquess of Leicester chuckled before he put a finger over one nostril, taking a sniff of the powder which he held in a box in his hand. “What do you say, my friends? Am I poetic?”
The marquess’s two friends murmured polite words of agreement at all the appropriate places, while the marquess, pocketing his snuffbox, paced forward to take hold of Katrina’s hand. “Ah, my dear, you look stunning, simply ravishing, rather.”
“Thank you, Lord Leicester.” Katrina suffered her hand to be kissed by lips which looked as though they bore more rouge than her own. She pulled her hand back as quickly as possible, but failed to loosen his grip. “Are we prepared to meet the new guides?”
“Yes, I say,” the marquess replied, setting her hand onto one of his lacy cuffs.
Katrina smiled at him.
“Am I to understand, my dear, that the guides of which you speak are to escort me to yet another fort?”
“Yes, that is correct. My uncle has been delayed, and he asks that you join him at a place called Fort McKenzie. The scouts are to take you safely to him.”
“Quite unusual, wouldn’t you say? But I must ask you: The hunting, is there good hunting at this fort? After all, mustn’t disappoint the dogs, don’t you know? Brought the hounds all this way to hunt, and hunt we shall. Why, do you know that I have met the most interesting fellow, a Mr. Hamilton, although I don’t believe that Hamilton is his real name. A right good sort of chap. English, I say. Says he has been here at this fort for several years. Seems to like it here, though he does appear to hate Indians.”
“Yes, rather. Well, now, come along, my dear. Mr. McKenzie informs me that his clerk is awaiting us outside the house here to escort us to the guides on the other side of the gate. A monstrous proposal, I must say. That is why I have asked Mr. Hamilton to make the introductions. I can’t say that I am overwhelmed by Mr. McKenzie’s manners. A clerk to see to us, indeed. Ah, here is Mr. Hamilton now. Come along, my dear. Let us get these introductions over with.”
“Yes,” said Katrina, “let us.”
And with little more said, she allowed Mr. Hamilton and the marquess to lead her out into the sunshine of a new day. That the marquess’s friends followed the three of them wherever they went, that the marquess’s men kept murmuring always agreeable tidbits concerning Lord Leicester’s undoubtedly brilliant humor, did little more than annoy her.
At least for now.
McKenzie’s clerk, Thomas, was waiting for their entire party just outside the gate. And what a party they made. Not only were the marquess, his two friends and Hamilton in their group, somehow the marquess’s dogs, barking loudly, had joined them.
“Come this way, Gov’nor, the men ’ee seek are by the wall over thyar,” Thomas said.
“Over thyar, do ’ee not see?”
Conversation ceased, replaced with silence. Dead silence.
Their entire entourage, even the dogs, stopped completely still. No one said a word; no one moved. Then the dogs started to whine, and the shuffle of feet could be heard—moving away.
It was he, the Indian she had glimpsed from the boat, along with a few companions.
“Why, Thomas,” said one of the men, “they are—”
Now, it wasn’t as though their party had never seen an Indian until this moment, nor was it possible that anyone in this party had thought never to encounter an Indian in this country. After all, they had glimpsed enough of the native population from the steamboat as it had made its way up the Missouri.
But never had the people in this group seen primitives such as these—at least not so close to their own person. Warriors, all, were these savages and, by the looks of the heathens, dangerous.
But Katrina stared at none other than him.
She opened her mouth as though to utter something…some scathing comment, perhaps. But when no words issued forth, she closed her lips.
“This one hyar’s name’s White Eagle.” Only Thomas seemed able to speak. “Them three behind him are Night Thunder and Good Dancer. The woman is married to Good Dancer, near as this ole coot can tell. Blackfeet, they are. Gov’nor?”
“Indians?” This from Katrina, at last, her glance never wavering from him.
“Yes, ma’am. But they’ll get ’ee through Blackfoot country all safe. They knows the way.”
“He goes too far!” She glanced toward the clerk.
“My uncle goes too far this time.”
“You tell the man,” the marquess spoke up from behind her. “Yes, my dear, tell the man.”
Katrina gazed over her shoulder. The marquess had positioned himself to her rear, his own men standing, as though in a line, behind him.
“Does your uncle not think favorably of you, Miss Wellington?” This from Hamilton, who seemed as dumbfounded as the rest.
She ignored the Englishman, glancing instead at him, the Indian, the same one who had so disturbed her thoughts, the one called… “What is this man’s name again, Thomas?”
“This one hyar, ma’am? He’s White Eagle. He’s their leader, near as I can tell, a chief maybe.”
White Eagle. So, that was his name. Katrina stared at the Indian. He, back at her. The man looked dangerous—foreign, frightening…handsome. Handsome?
He still wore no shirt, exposing to her view that muscular chest she had glimpsed the previous day. And she would have looked at it, at him, had she been of the mind. But she wasn’t.
She swallowed with difficulty and, allowing her gaze to drop no farther than the bridge of the Indian’s nose, asked of him, “Does my uncle bring word to me?”
The Indian just stared at her. No grin, no recognition of her, no intimation that he had seen her, too, the previous day—nothing, not even an acknowledgment that she had spoken.
She raised her chin. “Do these Indians not speak English, Thomas?”
“Guess they do well enough, ma’am. They been tradin’ with us long enough now to have learnt it. But ’ee is a woman. No Blackfeet is goin’ to speak to ’ee b’cause of that, beg pardon.”
Katrina looked at the Indian from down the end of her nose. She said, “Then ask him for me if he brings me word of my uncle.”
Thomas stepped up to her side. “Very well, ma’am. ’Ee heard her, Injun. Does the lady’s uncle send word?”
The Indian didn’t move, didn’t speak, didn’t even shift his weight. He just stared, his glance never wavering from her.
“Speak up there, you primitive animal,” Hamilton demanded.
None of the three Indians, and especially not White Eagle, paid the Englishman the least attention.
“Are ’ee sent here from the woman’s uncle?”
Nothing. No response at all, until, at last, piercing Katrina with his glance, the Indian said, “I have news for the woman alone.” Oddly enough, the man spoke in unbroken English and, Katrina noted, his voice, low and baritone, was peculiarly pleasant, almost melodic.
“Alone?” Hamilton again spoke up from a safe distance away. “Is the Indian mad? Does he presume to think we would leave the lady unaccompanied with him, so filthy a creature as he is?”
The Indian didn’t move a muscle, nor did he indicate in any way that he’d even heard Hamilton’s comments.
Katrina stepped forward, away from the crowd. Glancing around behind her, she ordered, “Leave us.”
“What?” This from all five men.
“Leave us, but take this man’s Indian friends with you. I will do as he asks and speak with him, but only with him. Here, Mr. Hamilton, give me your pistol that I may defend myself, if I must.”
“But milady,” Hamilton protested, “surely you can’t mean to—”
“Mr. Hamilton, your pistol, please.”
The Englishman looked as though he might protest further, though he nevertheless pulled the weapon from his coat and handed it to Katrina.
“Leave us.” Again she addressed the men who remained behind her without turning toward them. “I warn you, Indian,” she said confidently, “I can use this firearm Mr. Hamilton has given me as skillfully as any man. So do not think me defenseless that you might take advantage of me.”
The Indian said nothing, nor did he give her any sort of acknowledgment, not even by the bend of his head or a flicker of emotion across his features.
Katrina listened to the fading footsteps of the men behind her. After a nod from White Eagle, the Indian’s two companions followed.
The deference shown to this man did not escape her notice, but when she spoke, she made no mention of it, saying only, “What you ask is highly irregular and impolite. Hear me now, Indian, I am humoring you only because I wish to know what my uncle has to say. That is all.”
Glancing directly at her, he replied, “I will speak to the white woman only within the walls of the fort.”
“You will not,” Katrina countered. “You asked for an audience with me alone. You have it now.”
The Indian didn’t utter another word, just gave her a peculiar look and made to move away from her.
She reached out, grabbing at his arm, effectively staying him. He glanced down at her hand as it lay upon his arm, then back up at her. Something…some little excitement passed between them as they stared at one another, the intensity causing Katrina’s knees to buckle. Several moments passed as they stood there, sizing one another up.
At last, Katrina stuck out her chin and asked, “Who do you think you are, Indian, that you gape at me? Do you not know it is impolite to do so? Now, you will tell me what it is you have to say to me, right here and now…or not at all. Do I make myself clear to you?”
The Indian had become perfectly still as she spoke; his gaze roamed from the top of her bonnet to the very bottom of her skirts. Katrina watched him, ignoring the tingling sensation which spread throughout her nervous system. Fear, she supposed.
Odd, too, but she noticed he smelled good: of wood and smoke, of grass and mint—she had heard that the Indians chewed the leaves of the mint plant to stave off hunger, as well as to scent their breath.
His skin felt warm, too, moist and…strange, there was no hair upon the flesh of his arm where she touched him.
He was close to her, too close. The wind suddenly blew a lock of his long raven hair over her hand where she still touched him. The feel of those strands against her skin was fleeting, sensual, its effect sending shivers through her body.
She glanced up, startled, and wondered if the Indian had felt it, too, this strange sensation, but his expression revealed nothing.
She didn’t know how it was possible, yet she considered this man, this Indian, handsome almost beyond belief, in a primitive sort of way, of course. Not a man she would ever admit to being attracted to, particularly since he was nothing more than one of the savages that this country produced. And yet, she couldn’t help but admire the straight, imposing figure he cut as she looked up to where he stood over her. With his shoulders back, displaying his sculptured form, he looked as though he were a work of art, not a person of substance.
Something within her reached out to him, and she felt as though she knew him, his thoughts, his passions. It was as though there were a part of him that matched her perfectly…
She gave herself a shake. What was wrong with her? This was not the first time she’d felt as if there were something between them. It had happened the first time she’d glimpsed him, there from the boat…
She stared up at him then, in silent challenge, if only to purge this sensation from her consciousness. Yet, all the while, her touch upon his arm never relinquished its hold. His eyes were black, she noted, the darkest eyes she had ever seen, and they revealed nothing.
Suddenly, his look turned sardonic, and he broke eye contact with her, pulling his arm back, out and away from her grasp.
He turned from her then, suddenly and without warning. He began walking away from her at a steady gait, following on the footfalls of the other men. The Indian was treading, it would appear, toward the main entrance of the fort.
Katrina stood still for several moments, watching him, until she suddenly realized what he was doing. This man—this mere Indian—was defying her. She had made demands of him; he had told her nothing. Nothing!
Somehow this fact disturbed her more than any other detail she had observed about him. Blast!
She had to try to detain him. She took one step forward, and called out, “It was you who demanded to speak to me alone, Indian.”
No response, not even a catch in his stride.
“If you wish to talk to me, do it now, for I will not see you once we are in the fort.”
The man didn’t turn around, nor did he say or do anything further, except to present her with the view of his backside as he continued to walk away. She should have been appalled by the man’s bad manners and by his dress, or rather, its lack thereof. In truth, she was…almost.
She watched him, his lean, sculpted figure an unusually strange and exciting sight. And then she saw it, the man’s breechcloth fell apart from the outline of his leggings now and again, presenting her with an occasional view of a portion of hard, muscular buttocks.
Katrina was almost struck dumb with the observation. Never, not once in her life, had she ever witnessed so much of a man’s anatomy.
How utterly heathen. How primitive.
She didn’t, however, glance away. “I won’t meet with you,” she announced again. “And that’s my final word on the subject.”
Her challenge had no effect on the Indian’s actions.
Katrina was fuming. She felt like shouting at the man; she felt like pummeling him, but she refused to reduce herself to a show of temper.
She did, however, stamp her foot. The insolent barbarian. And to think she had been admiring his looks.
She picked up the front of her skirt, her white petticoats contrasting oddly with the brown of the earth beneath her feet. She would follow that Indian back into the fort. Not because she had to, she reminded herself. After all, she was residing within the walls of the fort. She had a right to be there. This Indian did not.
Oh, but she didn’t like this. It was she who should be the person putting forth demands. It was she, not this man, White Eagle, who was the civilized one here, the more intelligent one.
So why was she the one left staring after him?
Well, it made no difference. There was at least one action she would take as soon as she met with this man: She would ensure he would hear her opinions of him and his insolence—that is, if she met with him.
She wasn’t certain at this moment that she would even permit the man an interview. There must be some other way of soliciting news of her uncle.
The Indian turned around at that exact moment, catching her staring at him, and goodness, but it looked as though he smiled at her. Did he know her thoughts? Could he see her frustration? Worse yet, had he felt her gaze upon that more intimate portion of his anatomy?
How dare he! Oh, what a wicked, wicked man!
She threw back her head and thrust out her chin. Ah, but it would please her to tell this Indian what she thought of him…and soon!
Make no mistake.
White Eagle turned his back on the woman and walked away from her, a grin tugging up the corners of his mouth.
In truth, he had enjoyed the confrontation with Shines Like Moonlight…but he would never let her know it. Not when she had dared to try to command him, a Blackfoot warrior. Such was the height of bad manners.
Yet, he could appreciate her spirit, her courage in confronting him when even the men who had surrounded her had shied away from him. Too, he acknowledged her unusual beauty; in truth, she had overwhelmed him with the allure of her feminine charm, more pleasing in close proximity than from a distance. He could still smell the sweet fragrance of her, hear the silvery timbre of her voice, and if it hadn’t been for her lack of manners…
Certainly, she was fairer than he’d anticipated she would be, but this wasn’t what bothered him about her. No, it was her touch, the simple graze of her hand upon his arm. With that touch…
He grimaced. And he wondered if she knew she had stirred something to life within him, something sweet, something carnal, something completely sexual. It was one of the reasons he had turned his back on her—that, and her insolence.
Hánnia! He should have more control. He was not some young boy, unable to control the physical urges of his body; and yet, even now he could feel the result of her effect on him down there in the junction between his legs. It was good that he had left her before his physical reaction to her became more pronounced.
Did she remember him?
A picture flashed in his mind, an image of a child, frightened and crying, clinging to him as he had hung onto the crest of a hill, both he and the child watching the gushing floodwaters rush past them, its danger only a short distance away. He had almost lost her in those waters.
He remembered again that he had clasped her to him then, whispering to her, giving her as much comfort as he was able, until long after the danger had passed. But that had been much too long ago. They had both been different people then, children.
That the child in her had grown up was evident. That she had reached adulthood without the guidance of a mother or a father to point out the necessity of courtesy and good manners was even more conspicuous.
Would she remember him given more time?
White Eagle thought back to the world he had known so long ago, to the people he had befriended, to a little white girl he had admired—a girl with yellowish-gold hair—to the child’s father and her mother.
They had perished, her parents. The girl had barely survived, and her father’s brother had sent her away long ago.
So, her uncle had been right about her. The woman he had met today was spoiled, a person completely devoid of maidenly gentleness. She spoke when not asked, demanded when a man’s mind was already settled; in truth, her spirit towered over the white men who had accompanied her.
Did she rise above these men because she had bullied them into submission with the same womanly harping and angry tongue she had shown to him? Or was she merely stronger-willed than they?
Whatever the reason, White Eagle despaired of the intervening years since he had last seen her.
If he reminded her of it, would she remember?
It was doubtful. She had been before the age when a child comes into its senses, and he had been no more than a young boy. He’d kept a lonely girl company during those times when her father and uncle had journeyed to his tribe on trading excursions. If he told her what he knew of her, of her family, would any good come from it?
He did not think so. This person he had observed today had been as someone alien to him—certainly not the girl he had remembered…had once known.
In truth, he had caught her looking upon him with not only a womanly sort of attention, but with contempt, the same sort of foreign attitude that White Eagle had witnessed upon the countenance of the white man.
He didn’t like it.
No, it was better that he keep what he knew of her to himself. It was apparent she did not recall her life before the white man’s world, and he was certain she would not care to hear what he had to say to her.
So be it.
He entered the fort, taking his place amongst his friends. Good Dancer’s wife had already started setting up their camping lodges in the area surrounding the fort’s flagpole. One for himself and Night Thunder, the other for herself and her husband, Good Dancer. That Good Dancer’s new wife had demanded to accompany them on their journey did not bother White Eagle, nor did it seem strange to him.
The young couple had just been married, after an unusually long courtship. Of course they would want to be together now. Such was to be understood. Such were the ways of married people.
Besides, he’d wanted a woman along to keep Shines Like Moonlight company and to provide her with a chaperone. White Eagle grimaced as he adjusted his breechcloth, certain Shines Like Moonlight would need that chaperone.
He glanced around him, at his place within the fort. He had noticed, when he had first come here, that several half-breed hunters resided within the tepees around the flagpole. This seemed only right to White Eagle; that these half-white, half-Indian men chose to live not in the square, wooden houses of the white man, but rather in the more comfortable lodges of his own people.
At least this is how it appeared to White Eagle.
He could not know, nor would he understand that to some within the fort, the mixed-bloods were not on an equal footing with the more European breed of men, that such would not be allowed the right to live in the square, wooden houses.
And so, not knowing, White Eagle settled down, content for the moment, to initiate the necessary chores needed for the return journey to Fort McKenzie. Indeed, the time consumed in fashioning arrowheads, making a new shield and manufacturing a new spear was time well spent.
He was certain that Shines Like Moonlight would delay a meeting with him for as long as she was able. This didn’t bother him. Why should it? Time was not an enemy to him, and White Eagle was full-blooded Indian; he was a patient man.
He smiled. Perhaps here was something else he could admire about this woman: She had a stubborn strength of character. And this was good.
She would not be one to come a cropper in an emergency. Such people were few. Such people were valuable.
He shrugged. Whatever the case, his next few days within this fort promised to be far from dull.
Well, that’s all for now. Look for the book in a few days. At present, it’s undergoing the final proof reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and this is the cover to the left is the cover of the book currently up at Amazon. This cover was done when I was writing for Samhain Publishing.
Indeed, all of these covers have a special place in my heart. I am, however, extremely drawn to the new cover. Hope you’ll like it, too.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat with me about quilts, quilting and other self-taught accomplishments!
I had a lot of fun reading all the responses and even learned a few things. I tossed all the names in a cyber hat and drew out the following six names:
Charlene Whitehouse debbiejpruss Jcp Megan Rhonda Pierce Sarah Taylor
Congratulations to all of you. You can go to the books page on my website HERE to make your selection from any book in my backlist and then email me from the contact page with the title and your mailing info. Looking forward to hearing from each of you!
Hi, everyone, Winnie Griggs here. I hope you all are having a great start to 2022.
Today I want to talk about my first foray into the world of Amish Romance, Her Amish Wedding Quilt and then segue into recounting a few personal tidbits.
The book opens on the morning of Jan 1, the first day of a new year, and Greta Eicher is filled with thoughts of the bright and hopeful future she pictures for herself. She’s positive it will all come about in this new year. Of course, since this is a romance novel, things don’t work out quite as Greta imagined—in fact the whole New Years day ends in disaster for her.
Greta has an avocation to fall back on, though, while she licks her wounds—she’s not only the co-owner of a quilt shop but she is also an artist who creates breathtaking quilting designs. And it is in focusing in on her craft that she is able to heal, move forward and eventually open herself up to real love. I got so into her story that I actually created Greta’s heart & dove stitch design that plays a part in the big resolution of the story.
While I’m not nearly as talented as Greta, I did actually make a quilt once myself. It was over 40 years ago, back before I had the happy distractions of kids and a writing career. I don’t even remember what triggered the urge but I decided I would teach myself how to make a quilt and that, once I completed my first one, I would gift the masterpiece to my mother for her birthday.
So I bought a bunch of how to books (this was before the internet and YouTube videos) and carefully selected a pattern and methodology. Back then I was making most of my clothes and had a large pile of fabric scraps. So one of the things that went into my selection of a pattern was to find something that would allow me to use those and not require that I go out and purchase a lot of new material. When I came across the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern I knew I’d found just the thing. And a bonus was finding a version that allowed me to tackle it in a ‘quilt as you go’ method.
I did go on to make that quilt and give it to my mother who still uses it in one of her guest rooms to this day. But I’d waaaaayyy underestimated the amount of time it would take me to finish it. Instead of giving it to her for her birthday (October) that year it became a Mother’s Day gift the following year. I’ve included a photo of the finished product. I folded it over so you can see the actual Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern on the front, and the mixed hexagon pattern on the back.
As it turns out, that was the one and only quilt I ever made (remember those ‘happy distractions’ I mentioned? Well they came along soon after).
My mom, who was a very talented seamstress (she made ALL of our clothes when I was growing up), was not a quilter at the time. But in a funny happenstance she made friends with some ladies who were part of a quilting group a few years later. She joined them and started quilting herself. She became both talented and proficient in the art. In addition to quilts the group made for charity auctions, she made quilts as gifts for many friends and family members, including her 5 kids and 13 grandchildren. Each of us cherish them for the treasures they are. Here are a few shots of some of her creations, including a quilted tree skirt she made for me that I use every year.
Unfortunately, like me, Mom has put up her quilting supplies. But the body of work she created is marvelous and treasured by those who received pieces of it.
Have you ever challenged yourself to learn a new skill that was outside your wheelhouse? What was it and how did it turn out? Leave a comment concerning that or on what you thought of my post to be entered in a drawing for a copy of any book from my backlist.