The Fillies Welcome B.J. Daniels

shotgun-brideMy, my, my look who we have with us come Saturday!

Miz B.J. Daniels has climbed aboard the stage and will step onto the Junction’s main street day after tomorrow.

Ah hope everyone will turn out to meet her. She’ll be telling us how much she loves using Montana as a setting for her stories. Seems she’s fallen in love with the place. Cain’t rightly blame her though. It’s sure has rugged beauty.

But what about the rugged cowboy on the cover of her book? Now that’s someone I sure wouldn’t mind being up close and personal with! Hee-hee! Ah’d like to have him at the end of my shotgun and having my way with him.

So shake your bustle and get a move on. Head over to see what all the ruckus is about.

You’ll never know what you’re missing!

Wining and Dining

    elizname2small1              

 When was the last time you enjoyed a tasty meal at a restaurant?  Throughout most of history prepared meals have been served at inns for travelers.  But the first real restaurant appeared in France in 1765.  The proprietor served soups which he called restaurants, a word meaning restoratives.  The name stuck.  By the early 1800s fancy dining places were all the rage in Europe.  It took a little longer for the trend to spread to America.  The first great American restaurant was the legendary Delmonico’s. 

 Delmonico’s Restaurant was one of the first continuously run restaurants in the United States anddelmonicos-door-1 is considered to be one of the first American fine dining establishments.  It opened in  New York City 1827, originally in a rented pastry shop at 23 William Street. It was first listed as a restaurant in 1830. Unlike the inns that existed at the time, a restaurant like Delmonico’s would permit patrons to order from a menu(a la carte), rather than requiring its patrons to eat fixed meals. Later, Delmonico’s was also the first in the United States to use a separate wine list.  The restaurant was opened by the brothers John and Peter Delmonico, from Ticino, Switzerland.  In 1831, they were joined by their nephew, Lorenzo Delmonico, who eventually became responsible for the restaurant’s wine list and menu. In 1862, the restaurant hired Charles Ranhofer, considered one of the greatest chefs of his day.

Beginning in the 1850s, the restaurant hosted the annual gathering of the New England Society of New York, which featured many important speakers of the day. In 1860, Delmonico’s provided the supper at the Grand Ball welcoming the Prince of Wales. Supper was set out in a specially constructed room; the menu was French, and the pièces montées (decorative figures on the tables) represented Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and the Great Eastern ship. The New York Times reported, “We may frankly say that we have never seen a public supper served in a more inapproachable fashion, with greater discretion, or upon a more luxurious scale.” 

Famous patrons included Jenny Lind (who, it was said, ate there after every show), Theodore delmonicos-dinnerRoosevelt “Diamond Jim” Brady, Lillian Russell (usually in the company of Diamond Jim) Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, JP Morgan,Walter Scott, Nicholas Tesla, Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales), and Napoleon III of France. 

The restaurant was so successful that it expanded to four New York locations and eventually to other major cities.  A scene from my April Harlequin Historical, HIS SUBSTITUTE BRIDE, takes place in the San Francisco Delmonico’s.  That restaurant initially survived the disastrous 1906 earthquake and fire, but during the military occupation that followed, some celebrating soldiers, feasting on leftover food and wine, accidentally set the place on fire and burned it down. 

Eventually the restaurants fell on hard times.  In 1923 Delmonico’s closed its doors for good and lost the exclusive rights to its name.  No restaurant named Delmonico’s today is connected to the original.  Some of the dishes first served at Delmonico’s are still famous today.  Baked Alaska, Lobster Newberg, Delmonico Potatoes and possibly Chicken a la King were invented at Delmonico’s restaurant, but it was most famous for Delmonico Steak. 

substitute-bride-coverThese days we have an endless variety of restaurants to choose from.  What’s your favorite kind of restaurant food?  Ethnic?  Gourmet?  Down home?  Burgers and fries?  Do you have a favorite restaurant?  A favorite meal? 

 

 

 

 

 

Write What You Know

nosy-nebraska-sm1I’m a writer of Western Romance. But I’ve been moonlighting.

I wrote three cozy mysteries for my publisher and they’re being released in June, titled Nosy in Nebraska. For these three books I plunged head first into ‘Write What You Know’.

Book #1 Of Mice. . .and Murder has a heroine terrified of mice.

Book #2 Pride and Pestilence has a heroine who is a shy, insomniac insomnia2bookworm.

Book #3 The Miceman Cometh has a heroine who is a complete klutz.

 

Okay that’s allllllllll me.

I am terrified of mice.

 

Just because I’m bringing this misunderstood phobia out of the shadows, does not mean I should be mocked.

 

Some may read Of Mice…and Murder and see the humor, mystery and drama. But for those of us who are musophobes (look it up, I can’t do EVERYTHING for you) this is an intense, life and death struggle.

 

You know, I decided at a very young age (too young to be deciding anything) while pondering eternal things like heaven and … well…NOT heaven—to avoid a four letter word.

 mice

I gave considerable thought to whether instead of eternal darkness, or a lake of fire, I might possibly end up in a room full of mice.

 

God knows each of us. God knows what our definition of—NOT heaven—might be.

 

The worst of that youthful pondering was the horrifying thought that maybe, since we’re talking having eternity to adjust, I might actually get so I didn’t mind being in a room full of mice.

 

  That is–to me–doubly horrifying.

 

But I’ve made my peace with God and accepted Jesus as my personal savior, mice being the least of that decision, so I don’t dwell on—NOT heaven—that much anymore.

 

In Of Mice…and Murder my heroine Carrie is afraid of mice. Nothing else. She’s a very brave woman in nearly all other ways…except mice…….

EEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

 

In book two of the Maxie Mouse Mystery Series, Pride and Pestilence, my heroine is a shy insomniac bookworm. Hello, borrowing from my life again!

 

And in book three, The Miceman Cometh, the heroine is a klutz. Ask someone who watched painfully as I tried to do a cartwheel in elementary school. Klutz is a kind word to use.

 

Yes, I am a shy, insomniac bookworm, musophobe, klutz. My life shy-girlbetween the pages of a book. And yes, when I meet people they inevitably say, “You’re not shy.”

 

But my shyness is all internal. I know how to behave myself in public, but inside I’m a squirming, twitching, overly sensitive, lunatic. All my reactions are–Go home, go pull the covers over my head, better yet, GO WRITE. Have both sides of the conversation myself. Create COOL tough, bold women. Exactly NOT like me.

 

Or read books with those same cool, tough, bold women. Now THAT’S living. Or maybe pretend living, but if I pretend well enough, who’s gonna complain???

 

And it’s all set in small town Nebraska. THAT is the world I know.

 

So get a peek of Mary “the Lunatic” Connealy within the pages of the Maxie Mouse Mysteries, and a really nice, if somewhat wacky, look at life in a small Nebraska town. I did fully and utterly depart from reality in one area. All my heroines are young, slender and CUTE. I’m sorry, it’s fiction, for some things, the truth is just not gonna fly.

 

Share your phobias with me. Your quirks. Nail biters? Knuckle crackers? Any insomniacs out there? I’m the worst but maybe we’ve got some competitors.  

Taking a break from cowboys for one book.

Welcome to Melnik, Nebraska

There is no escape

Click to Purchase

www.maryconnealy.com

Kathleen Eagle Celebrates a Book Birthday!

eaglepicHello again, Fillies!

I’m back with you to celebrate my new book’s birthday.   In Care Of Sam Beaudry goes on sale today.  It’s a contemporary Western from Silhouette Special Editions, and it’s the first of three related stories.  The first few pages are available for you to read on my website and at Amazon (click on title link above) where you can, of course, order the book.

Let me tell you a bit about the idea for the story while I show you stud lovin’ fillies a couple of pictures of our own Paints.  Notnew-babies to brag or anything—just want to decorate my post with a little Western art. 

At the end of the day we’ll draw from the comments for an autographed book from my backlist.  (Think like a winner and check out the excerpts on my website to see which one you’ll choose!)  Oh, and I’m blogging today at Riding With the Top Down, where I’m part of another multi-author site, so drop by if you have time.

Sam Beaudry is the sheriff of fictitious Bear Root County in the mountains of Montana.  His mother owns Allgood’s Emporium in the town of Bear Root, which is also the county seat.  Sam’s a caretaker, a man you can depend on.  Publicly he has sworn to protect his community.  Privately he’s committed to protecting his own heart, which has been on the mend for some time.  He’s on the cusp of taking a chance again when the woman he loved and lost rides into town on a Greyhound bus with a little girl in tow.  The woman is dying, and the child is looking for her grandmother—the owner of Allgood’s Emporium.

Yep, it’s a secret baby story, which is one of my favorites.  But this one has a few twists, and I didn’t come up with them all myself.  Every once in a while my husband has a vision for a story.  Generally it’s not a plot—would that it were, since plotting is the bane of my writing existence—but a very visual setup.  jjsmoothjet1He imagined an older woman setting out homemade cookies in a country store.  A little girl appears on the other side of the screen door.  She’s drawn to the scent of chocolate chip cookies—aren’t we all?—but she’s nervous and looks pretty scruffy.  The woman gets her to come in.  The little girl says she can’t stay because her mother’s sick, but she gobbles a cookie and asks for more.  She hasn’t eaten today.  She and her mother are staying at the motel, and she’s pretty sure her mother needs to see a doctor.  “That’s it,” Clyde says.  “Oh, and I think the woman turns out to be the eagle4girl’s grandmother.”

That little kernel intrigued me.  Neither the hero nor the heroine was part of the scene, but they were around somewhere.  I envisioned my great uncle’s country store in Virginia—hadn’t thought of it in years—and his amazing little dog.  Our daughter recently joined Hennepin County Sheriff’s communications response team as a volunteer, so I had “sheriff” on the brain.  And there are at least a few horses somewhere in most of my stories, so Sam has a Paint mare named Oreo, who has a colt.  It’s coming together with more detail.  Except for a plot.  Must have a plot.  Well, I have a dying woman.  She has to be dying of something.  And she’s on the run.  She has to be running from something.  Or someone.  And I have the caring man who once loved her being asked by his mother how she came to have a seven-year-old granddaughter.  We were off and running.

Obviously I didn’t set out to write a trilogy.  It grew from the characters.  Sam’s brother’s story, ONE COWBOY, ONE CHRISTMAS, is scheduled for December.  But first things first.  I don’t know what it is about secret babies, but it’s a story that always appeals to me. 

What’s your favorite romance theme or plot device?  A reminder that I’ll be giving away an autographed copy of a book from my backlist, so let’s talk books, movies—whatever jumps to mind. 

Hellos and Goodbyes

 

It’s springtime and changes are afoot. It’s hard to believe I’ve been a blogger on Petticoats and Pistols for ten months — the time has whizzed by. I’ve enjoyed it tremendously and would like to thank you all for your comments, your kind words, and most of all, for making me laugh on a daily basis. Kate Bridges-signature line

I’d also like to thank my fellow Fillies for being such great friends. These ladies are as gracious and funny behind the scenes as they are in their blogs.

Alas, though, it’s time to say goodbye. Because of my heavy writing schedule for the next year — both with my Westerns and with screenwriting — I have to part with blogging on a regular basis. I’ll miss you all, but I’ll be dropping in when I can, and hope to guest blog on occasion. Petticoats and Pistols will always remain one of my favorite places.

My next book is out this November — ALASKAN RENEGADE. If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter to get my latest updates, please visit my website and do sign up. wanted-in-alaska-web-image www.katebridges.com  

Okay, here’s my last historical tidbit before I go. Did you know that the word ‘goodbye’ comes from a shortened version of ‘God be with ye?’

Wishing all of you the very best!

There are other exciting changes coming up in Wildflower Junction I know you’ll love. We’re adding more Fillies to the roster. Scroll down to find out who…and please give them that warm wonderful welcome you all gave me.

Hugs, Kate

Doing The Filly Shuffle

barn20dance1Hello Darlings,

I have a bit of news for you. Some is sad and some is happy. The Fillies are doing a shuffle dance, starting immediately.

Kate Bridges is sashaying to the middle of the circle for a little goodbye party. I sure hate to see her leave us. It’s been real fun getting to know the sweet lady. But, all good things come to an end at some time or another. All of us who are left behind wish her the very best. She’ll always be close in our hearts.

And Miss Pam Crooks is going to be on both sides of the fence. She’ll help us out doing all sorts of things, but scaling back on her blogging. Reckon you can say she’ll be taking a breather, as we ought to do from time to time.

Dancing onto the streets of Wildflower Junction come four brand new Fillies. 

Tanya Hanson, Tracy Garrett, Vicki Bylin, and Winnie Griggs are do-si-do-in’ to the middle and taking a bow. They’ll be blogging up a storm before you know it! Join us in giving them a real big rousing welcome.

All of us at the Junction hope you’ll continue to support P&P and come to read what we put up. You never know what you’ll find, that’s a fact!

Take care now and come back every chance you get, you hear.

Victoria’s Winner? Becky Ward!

Oh, my. There were some delightful responses this weekend to Victoria’s iama-ehq-siteinsightful blog about the women we admire most.  Too bad we couldn’t have a copy of IN A MOTHER’S ARMS going out to each one of you!

But Becky Ward is the lucky winner.  Yee-Haw!  Becky, just email me your snail mail addy at pacrooks@radiks.net, and I’ll make sure Victoria gets her book right out to you.

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and making her feel welcome all over again!

Kathleen Eagle Coming Tuesday

eagle4Well, bless my soul!

Kathleen Eagle is coming back to Wildflower Junction. Yep, it’s true. She’s going to take Karen Kay’s blog day on Tuesday.

What a real treat. We certainly enjoyed Miss Kathleen when she came for our Cowboys and Outlaws week not long ago. Ah know you’ll want to visit with her. Ah can’t rightly say what she’s going to be talking over, but ah’m right sure it’ll be interestin’ as all get-out.

Miss Kathleen’s new book is in bookstores and in case you’ve forgotten, it’s called In Care of Sam Beaudry. Sure sounds like a winner to me.

Don’t dilly-dally around and miss out now, you hear.

It’s not everyday you get this opportunity.

My Favorite Women of the West

iama-ehq-siteI love the story I wrote for my current release.  It’s called “Home Again” and it’s a novella in the Love Inspired Historical Mother’s Day anthology. Overall title is In a Mother’s Arms.  The heroine has a 12-year-old son who’s determined to get into trouble.  He starts by throwing a rock through the church window. That act of rebellion puts him in the path of the town sheriff, the man my heroine jilted fourteen years earlier.

What I loved about the story is how hard the heroine is trying to raise her son to be a good man. Here she is . . . A woman in 1890 Colorado, running a store, raising a child and divorced. She needs help and the hero is glad to give it, but the bottom line is that she’s responsible for raising her son. Like the real life women who settled this country, my heroine, by shaping a single child, contributes to the creation of the time and place we call the Old West.

When I started this column, I was going to list my five favorite Wild West women. Several names came to mind, most of which you’d recognize.   Annie Oakley… Calamity Jane . . . Caroline Ingalls of “Little House” fame. Don’t get me wrong. I’m fascinated by these women and their larger-than-life ways, but I wouldn’t call them favorites. They are complex individuals with good traits and not-so-good traits.

I thought of Sacagawea, the Indian guide for Lewis and Clark.  In elementary school I read her biography a dozen times. She’d be on the list, but I’m sure my impression has been overly romanticized. She’s a favorite, but I don’t feel strongly connected.sacagawea

I broadened my search and thought of Willa Cather. A woman and an esteemed author, she was born in Virginia in 1873 and grew up in Nebraska. In college I read O Pioneers! and My Antonia. I enjoyed the stories, but I didn’t love them the way I love a western romance.

Somewhere in my search, I realized something simple. The women of the west I most admire don’t have individual pages in history books. They could most likely shoot a gun, but they weren’t in the league of Annie Oakley. They had grand adventures like Sacagawea, but their journeys had another purpose. They wrote like Willa Cather, maybe not books but letters by the dozens, even hundreds.

willa-catherThe women of the west I most admire were the wives and mothers who lived everyday lives. They cooked breakfast for their eight kids, did laundry in tubs with homemade soap, and tended sick children. They stared down danger, kept the faith and somehow brought civility to the wide open spaces of America. I have the deepest respect for these women and always will. They had tough lives and they persevered. What’s more, they passed that grit on to their sons and daughters.

 Mother’s Day is a few weeks away, but I’m celebrating early this year.  Home Again is dedicated to my mom.  She’s strong, smart, wise and just plain fun. Who are the women, both in history and in real life, that you most admire?  I’d love to hear about them.  Everyone who comments will be automatically entered into a drawing for a copy of In a Mother’s Arms.

To learn more about Victoria, visit her website at www.victoriabylin.com

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