Lyn Cote: Native American Tribes in 19th Century Texas

lyn_coteWhen I began doing research on early Texas history for my new series, “Texas Star of Destiny,” I found out what a complex setting I had chosen for my three books. (The first, The Desires of Her Heart, debuted Feb 10, 2009.)
Texas has an extremely varied climate (cold to tropical) and geography (piney woods, prairie, grassland, Gulf coast, etc.). As for its population, generations of head-butting between the descendants of Spanish vs. English colonists, coupled with a complex population of Native Americans, this variety made for interesting research and three exciting (I hope) stories.

I was surprised by the variety of Native Americans in one place, and most of them lived very differently from each other.

In Texas in the 19th century, the tribes were:

in East Texas: the Caddo, the Karankawas;
in Central Texas: the Tonkawas;
in South Texas: the Coahuiltecan,
and in West Texas: the Comanche, Apache (including the Lipans and Mescaleros.)

Now I don’t know about you but I had only heard of three of these: the Karankawas, Comanche and Apaches. So let me introduce you to the Caddo.

The Caddos lived in the far eastern Piney Woods of Texas and westward onto the prairie. They were peaceful farmers and had permanent settlements. The quanahname, Texas, is from the Spanish word tejas which was the Caddo word for “friend.”

The Karankawas were primarily fishermen in the Galveston area.

The Tonkawas were horsemen and hunted buffalo and small game such as deer.

The Coahuiltecan lived along the Rio Grande. They eked out a life on native plants and hunting. (Not horsemen.)

The Apache had two groups which roamed virgin Texas: the Lipan, and the Mescalero. (horsemen.)

The Comanche were latecomers to Texas, migrating from the northern plains after acquiring the horse. Taming the horse and using it to hunt buffalo revolutionized the Comanche society. The Comanche were the most feared by all.

This is proven by the fact that the Lipan Apaches started out fighting the newcomers, the angloamericanos, but ended up allying themselves with the Anglos against the Comanche.

hillcountryThe Comanche was the consummate Texas horse warrior. You’ve heard, “Don’t mess with Texas,” right? Well, in 19th century Texas, it was “Don’t mess with Comanches.” This was true because Comanche life was essentially centered around war.

Finally, as the white Americans moved west, they pushed the eastern tribes, such as the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Kickapoo, and Shawnee into Texas territory. This also brought tribal warfare against these new encroachers.

Thinking about the Texan Native Americans as active participants Texas history brought back other research I had done.

My American history Masters thesis used early novels (not the classics like Louisa May Alcott but pulp fiction of the time) as a way to glean and understand 19th century social attitudes. I had no preconceptions of what I would find as I read early American novels from around 1820 to 1914. I came away however with certain “stock” characters” or “stereotypes” that appeared over and over in these novels.

Native Americans had two faces in these books. There was the NOBLE SAVAGE and its opposite THE BLOODTHIRSTY SAVAGE.  I think we still struggle with the desiresofherheart1conflict between these two opposites. When I was thinking of writing an article about the Native tribes in Texas, I skimmed Karen Kay’s very illuminating posts here on Petticoats and Pistols about Native Americans. I especially was impressed by her post on the fact that southern tribes did torture their enemies.

Today we all know about the white man’s depredations on the Native tribes, but if I were faced with a Comanche in war paint, I’d run. Fast.

(Digression: This might be an interesting start of a time-travel story. How a 21st century man or woman would react to being sucked into this bit of unpleasant history.)

So were the Native tribes–the Caddo, Karakawa, Tonkawa, Comanche, Apache, etc. in Texas — noble savages or bloodthirsty savages? Or something else? 

How should Native Americans be portrayed in today’s historical novels?   What’s your opinion?

Lyn Cote
The Desires of Her Heart, 2-10-09

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Spend Tomorrow With Lyn Cote

desires_of_her-heartAre you looking for something to do tomorrow? Well look no more!

Miz Lyn Cote will join us here at the Junction for a good time. The lovely and talented lady has lots to share with us. Before it’s all said and done, she’ll have given us the ins and outs of the early days of Texas and how the Native Americans figured into it.

And we won’t have to twist her arm for her to disuss her latest book The Desires of Her Heart. What’s more fun than talking about hunky cowboys and love and romance. Not a durn thing. Ah’m always at the ready when those subjects pop up. Hee-hee.

Come on by and take the load off. Have some fun with us.

I’ll let you have a sip of my cider!

Stumbling into Ghosts … Wineries of the Past by Charlene Sands


 ghost-winery-img_vineyardsWhile doing research about Napa Valley in northern California for my upcoming Desire Trilogy, Napa Valley Vows, I stumbled upon Ghost Wineries in that region. Now, how can a writer pass up something so intriguing?  As I delved further, I found that the ghost wineries aren’t necessarily haunted by anything other than time.


Napa Valley is one of the leading regions in America for winemaking. Some of these ghost wineries built between 1860 and 1900 are still in business while others fell to phylloxera, an insect epidemic in the late 1880’s, some to Prohibition and others to the Depression.  The San Francisco-based Wine Institute stated that 713 wineries claimed bustling business before Prohibition in 1919, and only 40 remained after its repeal. ghost-winery-buehler


Many of these closed wineries were transformed into estates or businesses, while dozens of these historic properties have been restored from barns to cellars to abandoned structures of an era gone by, as working wineries again. These ghost wineries dot the landscape throughout the Napa region. In 1882 the first vines were planted on the estate of Reverend Alfred Todhunter. He lost his vineyard to disease in 1885 and sold the property to a Sacramento grocer, Bernard Ehlers.  Ehlers replanted the vineyard and erected a stone winery building that remains today as the wineries centerpiece. After Ehlers died his wife maintained the property for seven years.  Alfred Domingos bought the land from her in 1916 and bootlegged wine out of the area until the repeal of Prohibition.  He established the Old Bale Mill Winery which he ran until 1958. The Leducq family purchased parcels from the estate in 1987. ghost-wineries-images


The Leducq family wines are 100% estate grown, using only organic and biodynamic farming practices. This wine is known to be heart healthy.  In 2002, Jean Leducq left the winery in trust to the Leducq Foundation which is dedicated to funding international cardiovascular research; 100% of the winery’s net profits support this effort.  (Isn’t that neat?)


In 1883ghost-winery1890, German immigrant Adam Grimm bought 405 acres in the mountains above Calistoga. Being from a venerable winemaking family (whose roots in the business date to 1540 and continue to this day), Grimm and his brother Jacob, planted extensive vineyards.  They dug three wine tunnels into the mountainside, thus establishing Grimm Vineyards and WineVaults. During prohibition, Adam left the business and Jacob began making medicinal and sacramental wines.  Through the years, the property was broken up, a fire destroyed much of the land and the property was left in decay.  In 1976 Jerry and Sigrid Seps bought the land surrounding the wine caves and renamed it Storybook Mountain, in direct reference the storybook setting and to the brothers Grimm.  Today, visitors can visit the original wine caves and sip from some of the highest rated Zinfandel in the world.   As it was in the 1800’s, the winery is still a family affair.  The Seps daughter is the tour guide on the property. 


Around 1870 a Swiss man named Gottlieb Groezinger made wine in the Yountville spot where visitors now shop for handmade bottlestops. Groezinger had  600 acres in the ground around the structure and he had a prosperous wine business until Prohibition shut him down. He made another go of it after World War II but never duplicated his initial success. In the mid 1960s, the building was refurbished and converted into a destination food and retail complex.

ghost-winery-far-niente-img_0234Originally founded in 1885, Far Niente which means “without a care”, a renowned winery in Oakville, had to be shut down at the onset of Prohibition.  Its founder, a San Francisco real estate entrepreneur named John Benson, abandoned the building and set out for parts unknown. The stone structure lay dilapidating until 1979 when it was refurbished and given new life. Reinstating the original name, Far Niente now ranks as one of California’s oldest wineries and is in the National Register of Historic Places.

I get goose bumps whenever I learn a piece of history I never knew before. I have to say the idea of winemaking and living amongst the vineyards really appeals to me. I’d love to visit these ghost wineries and learn the history behind them.  I’ve learned so much about making wine just in writing my contemporary story — the ups and downs, the beauty of the vineyards, the process and all it entails that I can honestly say I would love to have been vintner. a-walk-in-the-clouds1 While I know in my heart it’s hard and sometimes non-gratifying work, there is also something extremely romantic about nurturing the vines and producing award-winning wine.

Did you see Sideways?  How about French Kiss and my favorite movie about winemaking and romance, A Walk in the Clouds?   Do you drink wine and if so, what’s your favorite? Do you know how wine gets its color?  And wouldn’t it be fun to go on a ghost winery tour? Have any of you taken the Wine Train? 

a-reserved-for-the-tycoonWe’re closing in on our Millionth Hit… Have you entered our contest?  Keep those comments coming too. You may win the It’s Raining Cowboys Book Shower … 2 chances to win when we hit the BIG NUMBER!

Oh and my favorite wine is Zinfandel and Merlot, but I don’t refuse any type of vino!

De-Cluttering Time

elizname2smallIt’s all Oprah’s fault.  Or maybe just a bit my fault because I was watching her show when I should’ve been writing.  Anyway, she had this guest who was an expert on de-cluttering.  He was knocking on people’s apartment doors, offering to de-clutter their messiest spot in ten minutes.  Most of the occupants wouldn’t let him in.  Can’t say I blamed them.  Who wants their junk on national TV?  For the few who did open their doors, not only did they get to be on Oprah, but they got mini makeovers of their cupboards, closets, bathrooms, nooks, you name it.  All the guy did was empty the area, toss out everything the people said they didn’t need, and put the rest back in a way that looked nice.  It was amazing.  And it started me thinking…Hey, I could do that.  I SHOULD do that.  I WILL do that. 

Now, I’m not a messy person by nature.  You could walk in my small house about anytime and it wouldn’t look too bad.  I have my personal clutter—shoes, cat toys, houseplants, CD’s etc.  Mostly it’s under control.  But one thing isn’t under control—BOOKS. 


Like most writers, I have hundreds of books.  They fill the shelf in my office and the shelves on either side of the fireplace and the entire wall of shelves I had built in my downstairs TV room.  And they just keep multiplying, like the tribbles in that old Star Trek episode.  Encyclopedias, Time-Life sets, a zillion paperback novels, my own books, travel books, kid books, history books, how-to books, books that were my parents’, books that were gifts, the list goes on and on.   With no more shelf space, they sit on my night stand, on my desk, under my desk, in baskets, in boxes, in the bathroom, almost everywhere I look.  

By the time the Oprah show was over I’d made up my mind.  It was de-cluttering time, and I knew exactly what had to go—that four-foot shelf of old National Geographics downstairs.  I mean, really old, like from the 1970’s and 80’s.  Throw them in the recycle bin, and I’d have room for more of the books cluttering up the house.  Squaring my shoulders, I marched downstairs with a box to carry the old magazines outside.  I had the best of intentions.  But I made one fatal mistake.  I started looking at them. 

What a treasure trove.  One 1975 issue had articles about Spain and Alaska.  One from 1975 had a long piece about gold, how it’s mined and processed and twelve pages of masterpieces crafted from the metal.  The others were equally wonderful.  And for a writer who does historicals, their age was actually a plus.  You guessed it, the National Geographics are still there.  And so are the books cluttering up my house. 

How about you?   Are you a clutter-bug or a minimalist?  Is there something that you just can’t throw away? 

 Click on a book to order from 


Lyn Cote: Saturday’s Guest

desires_of_her-heartHello Darlings,

Miz Lyn Cote will be here with us on Saturday. Hallelujah and pass the biscuits!

The Fillies are proud to welcome this dear woman back. Miz Lyn will be sharing her love for Texas history and how the Native American tribes figured into the settling of the West. Miz Lyn has done her research and can give us the low-down on the subject. Very interesting. Ah can’t wait to hear about it. There’s nothing like a good story to set my mind to whirling.

While Miz Lyn is here she’ll be talking about her latest book The Desires of Her Heart. It’s part of her Texas Star of Destiny series and not to be missed.

Drop what you’re doin’ and come sit a spell with us. We’ll save you a seat!

Winchesters and Watercolors

Mary Connealy
Mary Connealy

My current work in progress, which won’t be released for a while—so forget all about it—is going to be about a western artist. A dreamer, not practical at all, who falls in love with a western woman. Boiled all the way down

They see an elk. He reaches for his sketch pad. She reaches for her rifle.

Oh, they are having so much fun disrespecting each other while fighting their attraction. It’s great.

To write the book, I’m researching western artists like Frederick Remington, Charlie Russell and Thomas Moran. So, since that’s about all I know this week, I’m going to write about them.
First the king, to me anyway, Frederick Remington:
Frederic Remington popularized the myths, legends, and images we now call the –Old West. Frederic Remington is the artist most closely identified with subjects of the American West during the last half of the 19th century. His drawings and paintings are wonderful but to me, it’s his sculptures that are truly amazing.
The interesting thing about Remington is he had this personaas a western man…almost like he hired a hot shot image consultant…. but he wasn’t one. He traveled to the west, looked around, then came back to his home on the east coast and painted.

Part of the romance of Remington is this love he had for the west. In a 1905 article in Collier’s Magazine he later recalled his early inspiration for depicting Western subjects, stating: “I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever….And the more I considered the subject, the bigger the forever loomed. Without knowing exactly how to do it, I began to try to record some facts around me, and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded … I saw the living, breathing end of three American centuries of smoke and dust and sweat.”

He sold his first work in 1881 but in 1895 Remington began sculpting in bronze, and this is the work of his I love.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Remington portrayed a most characteristic and yet vanishing type of American life. The soldier, the cowboy, the rancher, the Indian, the horses and cattle of the plains will live in his pictures and bronzes, I verily believe for all time.”

Charlie Russell is the real deal. While Remington traveled west and went home to the east, Charlie Russell was a cowboy who drew pictures. A lot of his early work that’s been found is sketches added to letters he wrote. While Remington attended Yale, Russell was borderline illiterate. Reading the letters he wrote is painful almost for the misspellings and dreadful grammar. But that man would draw.

To me the most charming part of his story was, he got married and while he’d been mostly giving his sketches away or sometimes selling one for a few dollars, his wife was a business woman at heart. She loved his art and she sort of shoo-ed him out to the back room to paint and took over the selling. She made him a fortune. He is quoted as saying, “She’s selling my pictures for ‘dead man’ prices.”
He signed his pictures with stylized initials and a buffalo skull.

And Thomas Moran. He is from the Hudson School of Painting. Which was a style of painting that sort of faded after Remington and Russell came to fame with their very realistic style. Moran’s paintings are very beautiful and he was in love with the Yellowstone area and the Rocky Mountains. He uses very romanticized sunlight and vivid color.

Some say his paintings of the Rocky Mountains were a factor in the creation of Yellowstone Park.We take our cattle to an auction barn every year and sell them and in the office they’ve got a sculpture, really cool, that I figured to be Frederick Remington, but I can’t find it among his work. But it’s a great sculpture of a cowboy roping a calf. thescreamHave you seen any of these paintings or sculptures around? Once you start looking they are everywhere.

They tug at something inside me, the liveliness of them. Imagine the skill to make a three dimensional sculpture? That painting of the geyser by Moran, it’s almost in motion the water spewing, the storm clouds brewing (HEY! That’s a poem!)
How are you on the fine arts? Do you like the western stuff or are you more a modern art lover. Can anyone in this group paint or sculpt. And no, this isn’t my new obsession. After my last post about Cupid, it might seem that way, but I swear I’m going back to the history of the gun, or the Civil War or maybe how they built the railroad. I promise. Unless I decide to write about how Remington did his scuptures. Very interesting.

American Heroes — Native American Style

horseheader1.jpeIt has dawned on me that many people in this wonderful country of ours may not know its deep, deep roots.  Perhaps I should say that I didn’t learn about these fascinating men (and women) until I started doing research.  So I thought that perhaps we might have a look at some real Native American heros.  Now, I was going to try to put them all into one post and that became impossible.  There’s just too much to say, too much history to cover to try to do it all in one post.  So let’s start with what we know — I’m certain there were many other American heros before these next two men that I’ll bring to your attention.  But we don’t know about them.  There is no written record of them.  Of these two men that I’m about to discuss, there is a written record — written in wampam belts.images15

Come with me back in time to around the early 1400’s or 1300’s (the date is not clearly known — it could be much earlier), to a time before the white man stepped foot on the soil of North America  (it may be true that Vikings had come here by this time, but again, if this is so, we don’t have a clear written record of it).  At this time, there were two men who lived who changed the whole course of a country.  Those men were Hiawatha  (the real Hiawatha, not the Hiawatha of Longfellow’s poem) and Deganawida (known as the peacemaker to the Iroquois).  It’s pronounced De-gan-a-wi-dah.

95021_d1189b1thumbnail1It was a time of strife.  The world of the American Indian was disturbed by tribal wars with the Algonquian and the Alligewi (Allegheny).  It was also a time of strife between clans and families of the Iroquois, themselves.  A man was expectetd to take justice into his own hands, and once the killing started, there seemed to be no end to it.  Clan against clan, brother against brother.

Deganawidah, or the peacemaker, was Huron and was inspired by spiritiual forces.  Legend tells us that he was born to a virgin mother.  He left the Hurons, however, to venture south into Mohawk territory, where he was welcomed as a great sage.  It was his vision that the Iroquois would live in peace with each other.  It was his vision to “establish a univeral peace based on harmony, justice, and a goverment of law. ” The Mohawk embraced his teachings, but the Peacemaker had a problem.  According to legend, he had a lisp, and so he could not speak well for himself or for the peace that he envisioned.

Hiawatha was Onondaga.  By the way, the Iroquois Confederacy consisted of five and later six tribes.  They were:  the Cayugas, Oneidas, Onandagas, Senecas & the Mohawk.  Later they were joined by the Tuscaroras in the early 1700’s.  Hiawatha was a chief of some rank.  He was a little past middle age when this all took place.  quanahWhat apparently happened was the Peacemaker left his home in Huron country because he could not adequately bring about his vision of peace for all nations.  He began his journey in a canoe of white stone., telling of his message of “Good News of Peace and Power” to anyone who would listen.  He met Hiawatha, who was then known as “a man who eats humans.”  However, so taken was Hiawatha with the message of the Peacemaker, he immediately saw the error of his ways and joined forces with Deganawidah.  What Hiawatha brought to the vision was his eloquence of speaking, as well as his influence among his people.   But there was another problem.  While the people readily embraced the message of harmony and peace, there was a terrible tyrant living amongst the Onandagas, Atotarho.  He ate human flesh and his hair and mind were so twisted, that it is said that his hair was nothing but snakes.  This man stood in the way of the Great Peace.

images11Both Hiawatha and  the Peacemaker visited Atotarho, but the man would yield to nothing.  Twice Hiawatha sent out runners to bring people in to tell them of the vision of harmony.  Twice Atotarho came, his appearance forbidding, frightening all the people away.  A third time Hiawatha sent out runners of a meeting, but no one dared show up.  Now it was during this period that Hiawatha’s three daughters became ill and died.  His wife was also killed.  The deaths were attributed to the magical and evil powers of Atotarho.  Overcome with grief, Hiawatha disappeared into the forest where he had many adventures.  However, in the meantime, the Peacemaker had succeeded with the Mohawks, who readily embraced his vision.


Although Hiawatha traveled far and wide, no one came to ease his suffering or pain.  Then one day, his journey brought him into Mohawk country, where he camped outside their village.  It was by a beautiful lake  that Hiawatha gathered shells to make them into wampam belt.  It was beautiful and its purpose would be that of easing the pain of anyone suffering from grief..  The strings of the rushes would “become words,” and he determined to console others who suffered. The Peacemaker heard about Hiwatha’s presence in Mohawk country, and came that night to comfort him.  And it is reported that these were his words to Hiawatha.  “I wipe away the tears from thy face….using the white fawnskin of pity…I make it daylight for thee…  I beautify the sky.  Now shalt thou do thy thinking in peace where thy eyes rest on the sky, which the Perfector of out Faculties, the Master of All Things, intended should be a source of happiness to man.”  So are the Words of the Requickening Address of the Iroquois.

adam-beach.jpgSo powerful were the Peacemaker’s words, that Hiawatha’s mind wa freed and together, the two men eventually brought peace to the entire tribe of the Iroquois.  They had to conquer the bad mind of Atotarho and according to legend, it was Hiawatha who combed the evil thoughts of this chief from his mind.    They also gave to him the power of absolute veto of any law which he did not deem worthy.  But after Hiawatha and the Peacemaker spoke to him and his mind was changed, he joined the Confederacy.  This was quite a feat in Native America.  Five nations aligned together to bring about peace, harmony and liberty.   There is a great deal more to the story, but this legend stands almost alone in its vision.  The Confederacy was not formed to rule over others.  Others were to have complete freedom of their own lives.  And the delegates to the confederacy were responsible to the people.  It became a government of, by and for the people, truly.  In fact, it inspired Benjamin Franklin, who had an idea of using its model for our own government.  It also inspired Thomas Paine, who is reported to have spent time living amongst the Iroquois.  It also inspired Thomas Jefferson.

moonThere truly was a spirit of freedom and independence that filled Native Ameria long before the white man “discovered” America.  This was so much the case, that it was unwittingly written into James Fenimore Cooper’s books.  In fact, if one were to watch Michael Mann’s most recent rendition of THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992), and listen to our hero, Nathaniel, one can hear him state that he is not subject to much at all.  Such was the attitude prevalent throughout Native America.  America was a country of free men and free women, and no “subjects” were to be found.

Such was the legacy left by the great Peacemaker and Hiwatha…a legacy that greeted the people who first came here seeking religious and political freedom.  A legacy that we share to this very day.  I thought — and hope I succeeded in doing so — that you might find this fascinating.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Please come on in and let’s talk — I should also tell you that because I am taking a very demanding course at the moment, I’ll be answering your comments during my lunch and dinner hours.  But I will be coming onto the forums to look and see and respond to what your say.  So come on in and let me know your thoughts.

Kate Bridges’ Winner!




Drum roll please….


Congratulations to RobynL!


You’ve won an autographed copy of WESTERN WEDDINGS!

Please contact me through my website at with your full name and address and I’ll pop it in the mail.

Thank you to all who participated in the discussion today about ironing. Who knew the topic could be so interesting? 🙂

See you around the Junction!

The Lost Art of Ironing

Kate Bridges-signature line


The lost art of ironing—I say this tongue-in-cheek because I’m glad those days are gone. But does anyone else remember growing up and helping their mom create wonderful, crisp little piles of folded sleeves and collars, and warm linens that draped so beautifully you could hang them in a store window?

And remember how good they smelled, coming in off the clothes line?

l1I was the only girl in the house, and as soon as I was tall enough to stand behind an ironing board, it was my job to press the tea towels and bed sheets. This usually took place once a week in the evening, in front of our black-and-white TV, watching Carol Burnett.

Tea towels were my favorite because I could easily manage their size. I’d fold one in thirds along the length, press the two seams, then fold it horizontally in thirds again, and press it. Those were the days before automatic steam irons, so I hand-sprinkled water onto the cloth, then lowered the iron to sear them, fully enjoying the sizzling and popping sounds I received as my reward. My mom’s tea towels came in all colors. I admired and appreciated each one, and noticed instantly if she ever bought a new pattern.

I guess it was a girl thing. 

We never had a lot growing up, in fact I think we only had one set of sheets for each bed, but they were always freshly laundered and pressed. Today, my mom would cringe at the state of my own linens, if I allowed her to look. But then, she never worked full time as a writer like I do, so it’s NOT MY FAULT. 

Recently on a visit to a pioneer museum, I stopped in the kitchen and marveled at the irons they had on display, resting on the stove where they were heating. There was more than one type? You could have several irons of various sizes and shapes? How decadent! 



I wanted each one!

I’m not sure what I would do with them. Maybe, since I’m a writer, I’d just sit and gaze at the clunky irons and wonder about the mother-daughter stories behind them.

a3See the one with the ridges? It’s called a rocking style fluting iron and was used to ruffle, crimp, or press little pleats into starched fabric. It also gave the fabric a special sheen. Fluting irons were often used for collars and cuffs to give added distinction—and were in their heyday in the mid to late 1800s. Blacksmiths often forged cast iron stands, called trivets, for the fancier irons.

There were dozens and dozens of different types of irons. Slender ones for hard-to-reach places like sleeves, irons used just for hats, delicate laces, or for pressing flowers, or for billiard tables. And—I would have loved this—small irons made for children. I’ll never take my single iron for granted again!

Times have changed and I’m glad we no longer have to iron everything we wear. I’m in love with poly-cotton blends. My husband, God bless him, irons his own shirts and laundry. Yet, there’s still this little niggling of guilt that I don’t do it for him. It’s NOT MY JOB, I tell myself, and wonder where the guilt comes from. Probably because growing up in a house full of boys, I was the only girl and the only one assigned to ironing chores.

They turned out to be wonderful memories….

Have you seen the recent remake of the movie Hairspray, and John Travolta’s character as the mom who is the professional laundress? I would have loved that job!

Do you have happy ironing memories? Do you still love a good crease? <g> Did you ever make your own starch? My mom had a store-bought spray starch she used once in a while, but I was never allowed near it. What chores were you responsible for as a kid, and which ones did you enjoy the most?


I’m giving away a book! WESTERN WEDDINGS, an anthology I share with Jillian Hart and our very own Filly, Charlene Sands, to one lucky person who posts a comment today.





And my new book is in bookstores now!  wanted-in-alaska-web-image

Click on the link to Amazon.  Wanted In Alaska (Harlequin Historical Series)

Visit me at


Victoria Bylin’s Winners

vbylinWoo-Hoo! What a wonderful weekend.

The names are all in the hat and I shook ’em  up real good. We have winners for autographed copies of The Maverick Preacher!

Val Brice

Lizzie Starr

Pat Cochran

Let me shake your hand! Now you need to shake your bustles and send Miz Vicki an email at Just tell her where to send your copy and the dear lady will get the book in the mail quicker than you can spit.

Tomorrow is Kate Bridges’ day to blog so check in and see what’s cookin’ at the Junction.