Ah do declare! We’re sure getting a passel of guests. And the Fillies are as proud as all get-out.
Woo-Hoo! Miss Cheryl Pierson will arrive at the Junction on Tuesday, March 2nd.
This’ll be her first trip to our little corner of the world. But just mark my words, it won’t be her last. That’s because of all of you wonderful ladies who welcome P&P’s guests with open arms. Bless you for that!
Miss Cheryl does love her cowboys so she’s gonna fit in here just fine. We all speak the same language.
Ah don’t rightly know what the dear lady has in mind to talk about but it should be interesting.
So, just hitch up your buggy and ride over here Tuesday.
Ah might even let you have a little nip of my homemade cider! Hee-hee!
Well, bless my soul! Look who’s coming around the bend.
Miss Jill Marie Landis, that’s who. The Fillies have spruced up the place and rolled out the red carpet for our Monday guest.
It’s always a pleasure to have Miss Jill Marie come visit. The lady has a list of published books as long as my arm. That’s a lot of sexy men she’s written stories about! And each one is better than the last, trust me.
Miss Jill Marie has a brand spanking new book out that ah’m sure you’ll want to hear about. HEART OF STONE will fix you right up with plenty of romance and get your heart all in a tizzy.
To further entice you, she’s giving away two books.
G’day. Thanks, Sheilas, for having me at your place. (Sheila, by the way, is Aussie for a young, attractive woman. That’s us, isn’t it?)
I’m Australian and you might be wondering what someone from Down Under is doing here. It’s about as far from Texas as you can get… isn’t it? You’d be surprised… there’s a town called Texas near where I grew up in the Australian bush. Far from making us strangers, in many ways, the places we live make us cousins. Here’s why – its part of The Man From Snowy River, a poem by Australia’s great bush poet Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson.
So Clancy rode to wheel them — he was racing on the wing
Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
And he raced his stock-horse past them, and he made the ranges ring
With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face. Recognise Clancy?
He might be a legendary Australian stockman, but he’d be equally at home riding the range in Texas. Your Texas.
The story of the Australian outback is very similar to that of the American west. It is a vast and rugged land – as dangerous as it is beautiful. The European settlers who came looking for a new life or looking for gold fought their way into the outback with bullock drays. They lived isolated from the world battling droughts and storms, dealing with lethal snakes, shocking heat and freezing cold.
That’s the history we share – and the heroes we share…
Which brings me back to Clancy. He wasn’t always chasing brumbies (the Aussie version of wild mustangs) – he was a drover too, guiding his cattle across the vast plains.
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.
I know exactly what he means – that’s me in stockwoman mode in the photograph.
I write contemporary fiction, but time hasn’t changed the outback. Nor the people in it. A car doesn’t really make it easier to fall in love with the boy next door, when properties (we don’t call them ranches) are measured in hundreds of square miles.
In my first novel, The Farmer Needs A wife – I wanted to do a contemporary take on mail order brides. My bride might arrive in the outback in a plane, not a coach, but when that plane leaves, there’s still no going back.
Another possibility for finding true love in the outback is the Bachelor and Spinster Ball. All the singles from hundreds of kilometres around get dressed in their finest clothes and come to the ball hoping to meet prospective husbands and wives. I guess that sounds familiar to you too. The modern B&S Balls often also bring in young folk from the big smoke, who are there for the country music and the partying… but anything can still happen at a black tie ball under the stars.
In both books, I tried to capture the essence of Australia – the remarkable landscape, the strength of the people who live in the outback, and the feeling of community that develops in small towns.
I felt it as I was growing up – and even when I’m on the far side of the planet… I still feel it. I’m never all that far from Clancy.
He sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.
I guess you know what I’m talking about too, don’t y’all.
What I love best about writing historical westerns is that I get to research the world of the west as it existed at the time of my stories. . . and then make up my own reality–using the truth and a bit of fiction. My Men of Defiance series takes place in a make-believe town somewhere in the Laramie River Valley area of what is now Wyoming. It’s an imaginary place inspired by my favorite Wyoming things and places–Vedauwoo, Laramie, Centennial, South Pass City, sun, wind and space.
And now I have a new piece to add to the tapestry of Defiance: Ten Sleep, Wyoming.
Ten Sleep is a magical place that I had wanted to visit for quite a while. Last summer, I talked my husband into a road trip. After five hours of driving north over endlessly rolling, summer-brown prairie, we turned west and drove up (and up and up) into the Big Horn Mountains through beautiful alpine forests that were cool in late August, hinting of the winter to come. It seemed that we no sooner crested the peak of a mountain than we were thrust down into an enormous canyon with hair-pin turns–such a shock after the hours of unchanging landscape on the highway.
The town was lush and green–a true oasis in the late summer dryness of Wyoming. It was founded in 1882, but had long been the midpoint point between Indian camps–ten sleeps in either direction. There’s plenty to see and do in the area–a mammoth dig, petroglyphs, badlands, the Washakie Museum, shops, parks, camping, fishing and golf.
But what was most interesting to me in Ten Sleep was the history behind the Spring Creek Raid that occurred in the area in 1909–the last major confrontation between cattlemen and sheep ranchers fighting for grazing rights in Wyoming’s open range.
In that raid, seven masked men–all respected local cattlemen and ranch hands –attacked Joe Allemand’s sheep camp, burning their two sheep wagons, and killing Allemand, his partner, his nephew, hundreds of sheep and a few sheep dogs. Public outrage at the event caused it to be the beginning of the end of the decades of violence between the two types of ranchers.
The hero of AUDREY AND THE MAVERICK, Julian McCaid, owns a sheep ranch outside of Defiance–smack, dab in the middle of prime cow country. The tensions between the two types of ranchers is something the sheriff of Defiance uses to stir up trouble for McCaid, hoping the troubles that plague our hero’s ranch will cause him to fold his operation and head back east. But McCaid has rediscovered Audrey . . . and he’s just not ready to leave yet!
I hope you’ll like this next installment in my Men of Defiance series. I had loads of fun writing it. Sager and Rachel make an appearance, as do the lead characters from my next story, LEAH AND THE AVENGER–Leah and Jace.
I’ll be giving away a copy of AUDREY AND THE MAVERICK to a lucky commenter today. And please stop by my new website, http://www.romconinc.com/, to learn about the new romance reader convention I’m organizing with the help of my partners, Tiffany James and Michele Chambers. It’s going to be held in Denver, Colorado, on July 9-11. I’d love to see you there!
This next guest comes to us all the way from Down Under. No, not from down under the covers. Down Under as in Australia. That’s a far piece from Wildflower Junction! And she’ll be here come Saturday.
Miss Janet Gover is a lady who can always find a little romance in the Outback. Miss Janet claims that the Outback is much like our Texas. If that’s the case, she’ll fit in here like a snug pair of jeans to a cowboy’s long legs! Ah’d sure would like to do the measuring on that.
Miss Janet’s full of interesting tidbits. If that doesn’t entice you to join us on Saturday, maybe this will. The talented lady will give away a copy of two of her books to two lucky people.
So, mark your calendars and follow the trail to the Junction.
I had great fun plotting and writing my novella for the April Mother’s Day anthology. It’s always tricky coming up with a Mother’s Day idea. Especially for inspirational romance, because these are sweet romances, so secret babies don’t really work. So I toss out ideas about where children come from and how old they are and who they will belong to. Yes, most ideas have been taken–about 50,000 times–so the plan is to do something unique with what may be a tried and true plot idea.
I can get a whole lot of mileage out of an orphan. When I teach my class on emotions next month: http://cheryl-stjohn-workshop.blogspot.com/ I will be sharing emotional triggers with my class. Triggers are tried and true elements that will endear the characters and evoke emotion from the reader. Mothers and children are good at creating emotional moments–so are children without mothers.
I’d had a heroine in my head for a while–a young woman who’d grown up in an orphanage and didn’t know who her parents were, so Olivia Rose was developed. I got her name from one of my beautiful Anne Geddes coffee table books. Olivia Rose was a baby Anne photographed who drowned a few months after her picture was taken. Being the baby lover I am, I was stricken by that story, and the lovely name stuck with me.
Emily is a young girl with a story much like Olivia’s. She was abandoned and doesn’t know her family. When the school closes, no one comes for her, so Olivia makes it her mission to find this little girl a family.
It’s a fairly simple story really, with a small cast of characters and a plain Montana ranch setting, but I’ve been hearing from those who’ve already read the story that people are considering it one of their favorites of my books. When I think I’ve written a book with an uncomplicated plot and no villain, that kind of reception always surprises me . I guess it just goes to show that everyone does love an orphan.
I’m giving away three copies today. I’ll draw names this evening, so leave me a comment to be entered.