Forts of the Old West with Krystal M. Anderson

Please join me in welcoming guest author Krystal Anderson to the Junction.

There’s something about standing in front an old western fort that brings that bygone era to life. The chipped stone walls and thick timbers tell a story of conflicts withstood, the battlements and gun ports atop eighteen-foot walls a sense of strength and security.

For many traveling through America’s untamed west, forts were among the only places of safety from Indian attack and harsh elements and were utilized by mail carriers, stagecoach operators, and weary travelers alike. Some, such as Fort Vancouver in Washington, weren’t even established with defense in mind, but industry and commerce. Others served as way stations along main travel routes, such as Fort Benton along the Missouri River in central Montana, or Fort Bridger, Wyoming, which became a vital resupply point for those traveling the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails.

In my little corner of Utah there are plenty of old forts to explore, some only remains of crumbled stone wall, that were constructed to protect the herds and homes of local settlers during the Black Hawk War (1865-1870). Recently I took my children to explore historic Cove Fort in central Utah and boy, did it fuel my imagination! Details from that visit will likely carry into many of my future stories.

Cove Fort is rectangular in shape and made of volcanic rock with six rooms on each of the long sides, each with its own chimney. A central courtyard opens in the center, and when those thick wood doors were closed, I don’t see how anything or anyone could have gotten through. Just outside the fort, which also served as a ranch, was a bunkhouse, vegetable garden, ice house, blacksmith shop, derrick, livestock barn, and supply store. It was to imagine how people were able to labor and live in such a place, but I’m certain it was immensely difficult. The women spun their own thread and fashioned rugs and blankets on a loom, scrubbed the laundry, and tended to the fort’s guests in addition to their own families. Years of harsh winters were spent enveloped in the fort’s cold stone walls. Do you think you would have possessed the fortitude to live in a remote, rugged western fort without many of the comforts of the day?


With that fort in mind, I created a fictional fort on the coast of Oregon for my latest story titled Her Keeper’s Heart. Fort Donnelly, I called it, stationed somewhere in Tillamook County. The book’s heroine, a mail-order bride named Orissa, is making her way to the Oregon coast from Connecticut via sailing around Cape Horn when catastrophe strikes. I won’t divulge the details (no spoilers here!), but she and the sailors find sanctuary at industrious Fort Donnelly. And that’s not all she finds there…


I’d like to give away a signed paperback copy of Her Keeper’s Heart to one of you lovely people. To enter, tell me something you couldn’t live without should you have been called upon to man an old western fort. I look forward to reading your responses, and thank.



Living as the assistant keeper at the Puffin Point lighthouse for four years, Leonard Tarby admires everything about his coastal home: sweeping ocean seascapes, lush, tangled forests, and unobstructed views of the stars he enjoys charting. There was only one thing Leonard would change, and that is the absence of a loving bride by his side. Certain the only way to achieve that goal is to send for a bride through the mail, Leonard sits back to wait for her arrival, dreaming of a life of wedded bliss soon to come.

The young lady is soon on her way to Puffin Point but goes missing en route. Is there foul play involved or did she simply get cold feet? Will Leonard ever have a bride of his own?

Find out in this sweet historical romance full of dangers, intrigue, and love, all beneath the ever-watchful beam of a Pacific lighthouse.


To learn more or order a copy, use THIS LINK

Linda Broday Has Winners

Thank you all for chatting with me about best friends Tuesday. I loved it.

Now for the drawing for my two books ………..

The random winners are…………..



Wow! Congratulations, ladies! Be watching for my email for your address.

Women in Today’s Sport of Professional Rodeo


I love that we’re seeing more and more women participating in sports traditionally dominated by men. And I’m happy that rodeo has become one of those sports. Yes, you say, women have long competed in barrel racing. But did you know in the early days of rodeo, 1850s to 1900s, women competed against men in all rodeo events, including rough stock?

Eventually, they got pushed out (grrrr), and in 1948 the Girls Rodeo Association was formed with the intent of advancing women in professional rodeo. The Girls Rodeo Association later became know by its current name, the Woman’s Professional Rodeo Association. Yay! Go girls. Um, I mean women.

While women still don’t compete against men in today’s professional rodeos, they do have their own rodeos and are no longer restricted to just barrel racing. Breakaway roping and team roping have become sanctioned events, and women from all over the world compete on local and National levels. Pretty impressive. I’ve tried roping and couldn’t even get the rope to land correctly on a stationary practice dummy. Can’t imagine succeeding while chasing a live calf on a fast moving horse.


Photo by Kirstie Marie Photography

There are also some brave and talented women who compete in non-sanctioned events such as tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and bronc riding. Picture yourself climbing onto the back of a two-thousand pound bull and letting him toss you around like a bean bag. Nope. I can’t, either. Even with all the safety equipment. Talk about dangerous. But I admire the women who are paving the way for future generations.

Daily Mail Online

I especially like that these rodeo events are open to ages thirteen and up, giving opportunity to young women they didn’t have just a short time ago and opening doors for future generations. Who knows what women in rodeo will look like twenty years from now, or even ten?

At the 2020 Inaugural Women’s World Rodeo Championship last November in Las Vegas, four women became the first in history to claim the title of Women’s Rodeo World Champion (besides barrel racing, breakaway roping, and team roping, a title was also given for heading and heeling).This is an amazing step forward, and I hope more events will be added in the future.

I haven’t yet put a professional woman rodeo athlete in one of my books. Thinking maybe I should. And one of these days I’ll travel to Las Vegas to attend the rodeo. I read somewhere that CBS will be airing the final rounds for this year’s 2021 Women’s World Rodeo Championship on Sunday, October 31st. I’m marking my calendar 🙂

Krystal M. Anderson Will Visit Friday!

Miss Krystal M. Anderson will arrive for a visit Friday, September 24, 2021!

She’s going to talk about old forts and I know it’ll be very interesting. Have you ever visited one? She’ll want to know.

Her giveaway is an autographed copy of HER KEEPER’S HEART.

All you have to do to enter is leave her a comment. Very easy.

So get your chatting britches on and come over. We’ll make it a party.

I’d Forget My Head…

Have you ever forgotten something? To do something big or to bring something vital along on a trip—like your underwear or a coat? Yes, me, too.

I think my best example was when I forgot to go to a job interview. I was in college and getting part-time work with the University was a huge achievement. My fulltime summer job at the University greenhouse was ending and I needed something to help me through the school year. My boss at the greenhouse arranged for me to interview with the head of the janitorial department. It was one of those weeks when I had a zillion things on my plate, and after completing all of them, I went home and relaxed until 6:00 p.m. when I suddenly broke out in a (literal) cold sweat. The job interview!

I’d never forgotten anything that big in my life. Somehow, in the age of telephone books and people who knew other people, managed to track down the home number of the man I was supposed to interview with. I didn’t come up with a wild excuse. No fender bender or mother in the hospital. I told him I flat out forgot and this was not like me. I asked for a second chance and guess what? I got the very-hard-to-get job. And because of that, I cleaned that Agriculture building. I even got comments about how hard I worked. Yes. Because I owed it to the man who gave me a second chance.

Then, let’s take yesterday. My husband and I always travel together. If I want to go to the fabric store, he waits in the car. I speed shop, because, hey. He’s in the car. But yesterday, I was going to the big city alone. He had an appointment in another town. I had my slow-shopping day all planned out. Hours in the fabric store. A pedi-mani (I don’t usually indulge, but hey—free day!).  All kinds of things. I brought the special insulated bags for bringing cold stuff home. I brought the post-pedicure flip flops. I brought an extra coat! I remembered the package I had to mail for my mom.  I arrive in Butte to discover that I had not brought my purse.

Yep. Forgot the purse.

You know…that really slows down a shopping day. Plus I was getting the truck serviced and it was hard to get an appointment. I called my husband. He changed his plans and drove an hour to bring me my purse. Then we had lunch and he went home, leaving me to my leisurely shopping day. What a guy.

And then let’s take today. I forgot to post my blog, which is why this blog is late. Now, I don’t think this is a trend, but I do think I need to slow down a little and double check a few things before heading out the door or to bed at night: Underwear in suitcase? Check. Purse in hand? Check. Blog posted for the next day? Check.

So…please tell me true. Have you ever forgotten anything important?

Christmas in September?

The release of A Cowboy Christmas Legend still has a week to go but I won’t blog again until October. And I do have a few early copies. It sounds odd talking about Christmas this soon but when writing A Cowboy Christmas Legend, I had to put myself in the right mindset because it was blazing hot outside.

The holiday has always so special to me. I grew up very poor and us kids didn’t get much in the way of gifts, but I loved the warmth of my parents’ love that wrapped around me. An apple, orange, and a few pieces of candy were a treat. Then sometimes if things were good, we got a doll or maybe a book. Christmas meant so much more than gifts. We were together, cared for, our stomachs full, and we had no complaints. My younger sister and I shared a bed, and we would talk (giggle mostly) until we fell asleep. She was and still is my best friend.

In this story, Sam Legend has gone to the northernmost reaches of the Texas Panhandle and settled on a barren piece of land. Once a Texas Ranger, he’s now a bladesmith and makes knives. He wants to forget all about Christmas, forget about the events that forced him away from family and friends. He drapes himself in solitude, content to let his hair and beard grow long until looks more like a mountain man than a member of the famed Legend family.

But when his nearest neighbor’s daughter finds out he’s there, she won’t leave him alone. Cheyenne Ronan can’t imagine anyone hating Christmas and she’s not going to let him spend it working if she can help it. So she begins to plot. Hiding beneath all that hair, is a man worth saving.

Then when a half-frozen little boy appears at his door saying his mama is dying, Sam rushes to find her wagon broken down in the snow. He and Cheyenne work to save the woman and offer comfort to the frightened boy and his little sister. As they care for the desperate travelers, Sam and Cheyenne grow closer together and he wonders about the dark secrets lurking beneath her calm veneer. There’s much more to her than he first thought. Slowly, they begin to know each other.

Christmas is a time of miracles and Sam and Cheyenne get more than one. Together, they discover that love can be the stuff of Legend.

In one scene, she’s singing Christmas carols with the children to soothe them. One very old one is Away in a Manger. It was sung long before it published in 1884. Silent Night is even older. The text was written in 1816, the music put to it in 1818. It’s not a carol, but The Twelve Days of Christmas was written during the Puritan days in England. These have been around for a very long time. So there’s a bit of history to go along with the story.

To preorder or to save when it goes on sale Sept. 28th, CLICK HERE.

The siblings in this story, Aaron and Ellen, are best friends and cling to each other during this tremendous trial. My sister was/is mine. Did you have a best friend growing up? Maybe one you could tell anything to. I’m giving away an autographed copy of A Cowboy Christmas Legend to two people who comment.

TEXAS COWBOY STEW by Cheryl Pierson

Fall’s on the way, so it’s time for some good recipes to fix on those cool evenings. I’m thrilled to find recipes that are EASY, QUICK, and GOOD. Have you ever noticed how many times cowboys in films and books sit down to a hearty bowl of stew?

Growing up, my mom made a lot of vegetable soup, but never made stew. I don’t know why, because I have seen my dad eat stew elsewhere, but for some reason, Mom just never did make it. I learned to make it because my husband mentioned he’d like some. My early attempts were not the best. BUT…I found those wonderful McCormick Beef Stew seasoning packages with directions on the back and voila—I was suddenly a gourmet stew-maker!

I found this recipe the other day, and boy, does it look great! It’s different from my usual recipe, but looks fabulously tasty. I will be going to the store this weekend for what I DON’T have, but many of the ingredients are every-day items we all probably have on hand in our pantry.


TEXAS COWBOY STEW from “Cooking Professionally” website


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 packages kielbasa sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans of peeled and diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans of pinto beans, with liquid
  • 1 (15.2-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile pepper, with liquid
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

recipe image

Step 1

In a dutch oven, sauteé the onion over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until there’s visibly no pink left. Add sliced sausage.

Step 2

Pour in both the diced tomatoes & tomatoes with chiles, pinto beans, potatoes, corn, and veggies. Stir everything until well mixed, then add spices.

Step 3

Add the water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for one hour.

Step 4

Serve with your favorite cornbread recipe!

(Recipe and photo credit to Cooking Professionally)

Do you like stew? If so, what’s your favorite recipe for stew? What do you like to eat with it?

Tina Dee Has a Winner!

Thank you for coming, Miss Tina! We loved talking about chickens! So fun.

Now for the drawing. I’m sorry it’s late.

Winner of the kitchen dish towel is………………


Woo-Hoo! Congratulations, Critters Mommy! Hey, you can put those eggs in the dish towel. Watch for Miss Tina’s email and have your address ready.