Jodi’s Winner


Didn’t Miss Jodi get us talking about our favorite westerns? She’s good that way.

And now what you’ve all been chomping at the bit to know……..

The winner of her new anthology is………..


Woo-Hoo, Colleen!! I’m doing the happy dance for you. To collect your prize, send your mailing info to and Miss Jodi will get the book out to you before you can think twice.

Miss Jodi thanks everyone who stopped by to chat. She hopes you’ll continue to look for her books. Her next releases are THE COMFORTS OF HOME and A TEXAS CHRISTMAS both in October.

Filly New Release Update – August 2011


Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented writers here at Wildflower Junction.  To purchase any of these fine books, just click on the book covers.  And to learn more about the authors, click on thier names.


By Mary Connealy

Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father’s homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe—until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to climb her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family’s cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch—and Rafe’s controlling ways—as soon as they were able. He’s haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn’t expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels—or to be forced to kiss her!

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he’s ever known. But how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he have to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust, or the love that could heal his heart?


LADY GYPSY (Kindle Edition)
By Pam Crooks

Liza was born to roam the land with her mother’s people, but she is shamed by the sin that made her forever different.

Reese has set down roots deep in the Nebraska prairie.  His dreams are sure to come true with a new railroad and a proper wife and child.

But Liza is accused unfairly by Reese’s people, and she is forced to flee the security of her world to see safety in his.  When Reese’s careful plans for success are threatened, he must fight to save all he’s ever worked for.

Will it cost him the love he’s found with the beautiful, black-eyed woman with red-gold hair?  His Lady Gypsy?


By Tanya Hanson

Frightened and alone, Caffey Matthews leaves behind her wealthy Manhattan life after her husband’s financial crimes and suicide…knowing his enemies are in pursuit. Finding succor in remote California ranch land helps her to reclaim her faith and trust in God. But the heart-stopping stranger Rhee Ryland frightens her even as she’s powerless to halt her deepening feelings for him…

Believing she’s involved in her late husband’s misdeeds, cowboy-turned high-priced private investigator Rhee Ryland arrives in Rancho Lorena on her tail ready to haul her back. Never expecting to fall in love with her, even more surprising is his return to his childhood Lord.


“Beneath the Texas Sky” … rides again!

I’ve always loved Historical Romance.  I grew up with Dad reading Louis L‘Amour and Mom reading Barbara Cartland.  In 1987 I’d written two stories and decided to be adventurous and go to my first RWA set in Dallas.  This was ‘big time’ for me.  I mostly walked around with my mouth open in shock, trying to absorb all I could about the business.

The last day I get a 10 minute interview with a real New York editor. She wasn’t interested in my Civil War story but the one about Texas held her attention for a few minutes.  Two months later I got the call and sold my story, Weston Bred.  Kensington told me they had a problem with the name.  So, within 24 hours I became Jodi Thomas and the book became BENEATH THE TEXAS SKY.

In 1988 my first book came out pretty much unnoticed by anyone not related to me.  Since I was a member of the Texas Press Women, I entered it in their statewide contest.  It won and went on to national.  I won there also which threw BENEATH into second printing.

Berkley bought the Civil War book and won the bid for book three, THE TENDER TEXAN.  My career rolled along with a book every year until number 16 hit the New York Times list.  Then BENEATH got a new cover and came out again.  Years later it got a face lift with cover number three.

I laugh and say anyone has to look hard to see my name on the first cover.  In twenty-three years of writing over thirty books, four RITA wins and almost a dozen anthology collections set in early Texas, BENEATH THE TEXAS SKY will always hold a place in my heart.  I still love historical romance.

When I’ve had a long day in the real world there is nothing better than turning my computer on in my study and stepping into the past.  I sometimes wonder if my Civil War book had sold first, would I be the Queen of Civil War Romance?

Tonight, while many of you are reading this, I’ll be in 1875 with Rose McMurray.  We’re going on a grand journey with a cowboy who has a dark past and a lie he’s chosen to live with.

Many people write and ask me, ‘How do I step from the historical Whispering Mountain series to the modern day Harmony series?’

It’s easy.  Like flipping channels between your two favorite programs.

Speaking of TV.   When you are in a western mood, what do you watch?  What movies spark your imagination and put you to dreaming back in the past?

I will give away our newest anthology “Give Me a Texas Outlaw” to one person who posts a comment!


“Widows of Wichita County” was reprinted and released in July.

“The Secrets of Rosa Lee” is due to be re-released August 2011.

And “The Tender Texan will re-release in December 2011.

The Fire That Inspired a Plot

As a writer, nothing excites me more during the research phase of plotting a book than discovering actual history that allows my entire plot to fit together in a way more perfect than anything my imagination could have conjured. This is exactly what happened during the writing of my latest novel, To Win Her Heart.

My hero, Levi Grant, enters the story after spending two years in Huntsville State Prison for an unintentional crime. Being a large, muscled man, he was put to work in the labor camps during his incarceration, breaking rock at a granite quarry. The abusive camp sergeants he faced there left him with scars inside and out, but the compassion of a prison chaplain helped him rebuild his faith and his dream of starting a new life. Upon his release, he takes up his father’s blacksmithing trade and plans to keep his past a secret. However, as the author, I couldn’t allow this secret to stay hidden. So I began looking for ways to expose my hero’s past. And I stumbled upon the perfect solution in my time period research.

[Top – Texas Capitol as it appeared in 1875. Bottom – Texas Capitol after the fire of 1881.]

In 1881, the Texas Capitol building was destroyed by fire. The Texas Legislature decided that when they rebuilt, they would use only materials native to the state. They initially chose limestone, as there was a quarry near Austin, but when iron particles in the rock led to discoloration, they elected red granite instead. This granite was obtained from Granite Mountain near Marble Falls, Texas in 1885. To cut costs, the state contracted convict labor for breaking the stone. The use of free—or almost free—convict labor in the quarries, however, was seen as an attempt by the state to undermine unionized labor and was opposed by virtually every organized labor group in Austin. Hence, word spread throughout the region about the controversial labor force.

This historical event allowed me to supply Levi with quarry experience during his incarceration (breaking rock at Granite Mountain), but with a project that was so well known for using convict labor, it could easily expose his past should anyone learn of his involvement. And, of course, someone does. History provided the perfect scenario.

[Convicts working at Granite Mountain]    

Not only did this fabulous research gem supply the plot point I needed, but it also helped determine my setting. The story opens in 1887, in keeping with the time frame of Levi working at the labor camp in 1885 at the beginning of his incarceration, leaving time on the back end of his two-year sentence for his spiritual rehabilitation with the prison chaplain. It also played a role in the location of Spencer, Texas. Knowing how pivotal a role having a quarry nearby would be to my story, I chose to set my fictional town near Limestone County where the natural resource from which the county derived its name was abundant enough to allow me to install a quarry a few miles from town.

Fun how things work out, isn’t it?

Are there interesting historical tidbits in your back yard that would make a great plot point in a novel? Any colorful characters in your family history who would spice things up? I’d love to hear about them. Who know’s? Maybe your idea will be the spark that ignites the fire for my next book.

To read the first chapter of To Win Her Heart, click the link below.

Jodi Thomas Gallops Into The Junction!


Hello Darlings,

Woo-Hoo! The Fillies are counting their blessings that Miss Jodi Thomas has saddled up and will ride into the Junction on Saturday.

We’re always overjoyed when Miss Jodi comes to call. She has so many interesting things to say.

Not sure yet what Miss Jodi has planned for us but you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be glad she came. Her books bring us countless hours of pleasure. Her characters instantly become like family to me and I hate for the stories to end. All I can say is thank goodness she writes series books. That way I never have to say goodbye to the story people.

Don’t know your plans, but you’d best make a stop by the Junction on Saturday.

We want to see all your smilin’ faces!

The Greatest Western Song of All Time

The title for this blog is a bit of hyperbole, but I think it’s true.  El Paso by Marty Robbins has been my favorite song for years.  It came up at P&P a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. For those who haven’t heard it, I’m included a YouTube video from the 1970s. I recommend ignoring the white jumpsuits. It’s hard to believe we ever thought they were a good idea.   

Here’s El Paso.


And now for some trivia . . .

The song was written by Marty Robbins in almost less time than it takes to sing the 4-1/2 minute long version.  He said in an interview that it came to him almost like a movie and he just wrote it down.

The song is unusual in that there’s no chorus and no repeated lyrics.

El Paso was released in September 1959 and went to No. 1.  In 1961, it won the Grammy for Best Country and Western Recording.

The Grateful Dead did a cover of  El Paso.

El Paso appeared on Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs.  Today on Amazon, there are 107 review that break down like this: 5 Stars — 100.  4 Stars — 6.  3 Stars — 1. The solo 3-Star reviewer didn’t like the  change in the order of the songs on the digitally remastered CD.

The City of El Paso named a park after Marty Robbins.

The song on the flipside of the old 45 was Running Gun.

The Glaser Brothers supplied the harmony, and Grady Martin played the Tex Mex style guitar that gives the song so much character.

Marty Robbins’ real name was Shane Dawson. He was born September 26, 1925.  He passed away December 8, 1982 from a heart ailment. He had a twin sister.

And now here are the lyrics that first made me love western romance . . . 

El Paso by Marty Robbins

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa’s cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden;
I was in love but in vain, I could tell.

One night a wild young cowboy came in,
Wild as the West Texas wind.
Dashing and daring,
A drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina,
The girl that I loved.

So in anger I

Challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.

Just for a moment I stood there in silence,
Shocked by the FOUL EVIL deed I had done.
Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there;
I had but one chance and that was to run.

Out through the back door of Rosa’s I ran,
Out where the horses were tied.
I caught a good one.
It looked like it could run.
Up on its back
And away I did ride,

Just as fast as I

Could from the West Texas town of El Paso
Out to the bad-lands of New Mexico.

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless.
Everything’s gone in life; nothing is left.
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the young maiden
My love is stronger than my fear of death.

I saddled up and away I did go,
Riding alone in the dark.
Maybe tomorrow
A bullet may find me.
Tonight nothing’s worse than this
Pain in my heart.

And at last here I

Am on the hill overlooking El Paso;
I can see Rosa’s cantina below.
My love is strong and it pushes me onward.
Down off the hill to Felina I go.

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys;
Off to my left ride a dozen or more.
Shouting and shooting I can’t let them catch me.
I have to make it to Rosa’s back door.

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side.
Though I am trying
To stay in the saddle,
I’m getting weary,
Unable to ride.

But my love for

Felina is strong and I rise where I’ve fallen,
Though I am weary I can’t stop to rest.
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.

From out of nowhere Felina has found me,
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
Cradled by two loving arms that I’ll die for,
One little kiss and Felina, good-bye.  



Time Plains Drifter is a different kind of romance novel than anything I’ve ever read.  I think that’s why I enjoyed writing it so much. 

After being released in December of 2009 with an unscrupulous publisher, I took my rights back after only three months and spent the next year searching for another home for it.  Just this past spring, it was placed with WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER, an imprint of PUBLISHING BY REBECCA J. VICKERY.  This is a marvelous company that handles some much “bigger” names than I have, such as Peter Brandvold, Jory Sherman, and Madeline Baker, among others.  Print books are important to me, although I understand that e-publishing is growing by leaps and bounds.  I’m sure that WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER will prove to be the perfect place for Time Plains Drifter, and I’m glad to say I now have the sequel in the works. 

That being said, let me tell you why Time Plains Drifter is so hard to pigeonhole and why that may be a bit scary in today’s market. 

I knew Time Plains Drifter was going to have to be classified as a time-travel romance; that’s how the H/h meet one another.  She’s from 2010—he’s from 1879.  That was the easy part.  The part that was a bit harder to work around was that he was dead.  I just couldn’t get past the premise that Rafe d’Angelico was going to be the “paranormal element” of the story.  I didn’t want him to be a werewolf, vampire, or shapeshifter.  So that left angels, demons, zombies and so forth.  I chose for him to be an angel.

Working with Rafe—an angel who didn’t want to be an angel—was a challenge.  I told him he had a pretty good deal going.  He told me, “I want to be human again.”  In the end, I realized he was right, and that was the only way to resolve the issue of time-travel-paranormal-angel-demon-human issues. 

Jenni Dalton, the heroine, was completely unsuspecting in all this.  She went out on a stargazing field trip with seven of her high school students one night and they never came home.  Instead, they ended up in Indian Territory, 1895; one hundred-fifteen years in the past. 

Jenni’s got it rough, trying to deal with her seven charges, four of them the senior class troublemakers.  It takes Rafe to bring them to heel and get them to toe the mark, until the gravity of their situation causes them to all make some surprising adjustments. 

As Rafe and Jenni realize their growing attraction to one another is fated, they also understand there is no way anything can come of it on a permanent basis—Rafe is an angel, and Jenni is human. 

The twists and turns that finally bring the book around to the HEA were the most fun to come up with for me.  But the story itself, being so unique, is tough to categorize. 

Time Plains Drifter is special to me because it’s the first project my daughter, Jessica, and I have had the chance to work on together.  She designed the cover art. I absolutely LOVE what she did. 

Time Plains Drifter was the recipient of The Reviewer’s Top Pick Award by Karen M. Nutt, PNR reviews.  It also received a 4.5 star review from Romantic Times Magazine.  I was selected as the recipient of the Honorable Mention—Best New Paranormal Author category in PNR’s PEARL Awards last year (March 2010), based on Time Plains Drifter. 

The sequel has been a delight to work on, with a different twist than the first book, and some familiar characters will be the stars of the show this time around since the story is built around Rafe’s brother, Cris, and Jenni’s sister, Victoria. 

Time Plains Drifter is now available in all formats, including print, Kindle, and Nook. Take a look at my Amazon page to order. (See link below.)

 Cheryl’s Amazon Author Page:  

I’ve included the blurb and an excerpt below.  Please leave a comment!  I always love to hear from readers and other authors.  Visit my website at



Trapped in Indian Territory of 1895 by a quirk of nature, high school teacher Jenni Dalton must find a way to get her seven students back to 2005. Handsome U.S. Marshal Rafe d’Angelico seems like the answer to her prayers; he is, after all, an angel. In a race against time and evil, Rafe has one chance to save Jenni’s life and her soul from The Dark One—but can their love survive? 


He closed his eyes, letting the pleasurable feel of her wet mouth on his body wash over him, along with her voice. “Some things never change,”she’d said earlier. Her Oklahoma accent was a slow waltz to his mind, its lilting cadence urging him to accept what they had between them. Still, he couldn’t let it go. Couldn’t ever be dishonest with her, of all people.

“Don’t you want to know—”

She stopped him, placing two cool fingers across his lips, smiling at the tickle of his moustache against her skin. The smile faded as she absorbed the worry in his expression, the smoldering fire in his eyes, and made it her own.

“Not now, I don’t. You asked me—earlier—if I felt it. Whatever it is between us. I do.” Debating with herself, she hesitated a moment before coming to a decision. “I want you, Rafe,” she murmured. “I trust you.” She nuzzled his neck.“It doesn’t matter now, who—or what—you are.”

His hand closed in a fist around the shimmering satin of her copper hair, his chest filling with a sweet peace at her quiet words.


His mind churned as Jenni kissed him once again. Accepting him, for whoever he might be. She loved him. She hadn’t said it yet, but he knew it by the gentle way her lips grazed across his, then claimed his mouth completely, as if that was the only way she had to let him know how she felt. They breathed together, as one.

He answered her wordlessly, his tongue going into her mouth, fingers splaying and tightening against her scalp as he pulled her to him.

She came across his bare chest, the stiffness of the material of her own blouse gliding with gentle abrasion across his nipples. He groaned in pleasure and felt her smile against his mouth. She made the move again as she lifted her lips from his, emerald eyes sparkling into his searing gaze.

“We’ll talk later,” she assured him.

“It’ll be too late to change your mind about me then,” he said, half-jokingly.

“I won’t change my mind, Rafe.”

The sweet sincerity in her voice and the promise in her eyes reassured him. He pulled her down silently. As their mouths melded once more, he rolled, taking her with him, changing their positions so he lay atop her.

She gasped, yielding to him, her cool palms sliding over the fevered heat of his skin, across his chest and shoulders. He began to unbutton her blouse as he kissed her, his fingers moving deftly. He pushed away the first layer of material with his customary impatience, then started on the stays of her corset.

She twisted beneath him at the loosening of the undergarment. He pulled her upright momentarily, whisking blouse and corset over her head, dropping them in a heap on the floor.

In silent invitation, Jenni lifted her hand to him. She touched his side, and he flinched slightly as her fingers lingered over the very place the Bowie had gone into him earlier that day. Even though a red scar marked the spot, there was no pain for him, and he saw no puzzlement in her eyes…only concern.

“Does it hurt?”

It was as he had suspected. She’d seen what had happened, how bad it should have been…but wasn’t. And she had accepted it, unconditionally. They would talk later, as she’d said, but somehow, he felt he would find the words he needed to explain things to her. He shook his head slightly. “No.”

A vulnerable uncertainty crossed her face for a moment. “Well, then, Marshal—what’re you waiting for?” He unfastened her skirt and petticoat, then made short work of the stockings and underpants.

God. Rafe swallowed hard, reaching to trace the faded tan lines across her shoulders. He moistened his lips, his teeth sinking into the lower one momentarily. His pulse raced as his gaze moved over her face—then lower, to her breasts, her flat belly, and the triangle of soft hair, below.

Are you ready?

Good Morning!

Going along with a similar message from my last post, I thought we might continue on in the same vein as we did a couple of weeks ago — survival.  With droughts in the south and midwest, flooding in our farmlands and northern states and with grain elevators gradually reduced to only about 3 months of food supply, it takes only a little foresight to see that we may be in for a long haul in the near future.  To that end, I thought we might revisit some survival tactics.  I’ll be giving away, by the way, a book on survival tactics (well sort of survival tactics) — LONG ARROW’S PRIDE to some lucky blogger.  So be sure to come in and leave a message.  (Note, this offer applies to the greater 50 States and to Canada only.)

In the old days, the Indians lived off the land and rarely starved.  It wasn’t until reservation days that starvation became a real threat.  Before that time, the Indians knew what plants to look for and where to look, what animals to kill, how to kill them for food, how to jerky the meat and how to survive and live off the land.  In truth, before the last World War, most Americas were living on farms and so the Depression (I never call it the Great Depression, as I think of Great things as good things) — but the collaspe of the economy during the Depression – bad as it was, wasn’t as bad as it might be in our future because most people still lived on farms back then and knew how to grow their own food.  So, as I used to learn in the Girl Scouts, let me ask you this.  How prepared are you for a collapse if it were to come upon us?

Heaven forbid it ever happen.  But as my mother used to say, “You prepare for the worst and enjoy those things you stored when it doesn’t happen.”  So let’s go over a few things that might come in handy to have, just in case, okay?

1)  Food — do you have a minimum of a 1 year supply for all members of your family on hand.  These are storeable items like grains, dried fruits, canned organic veggies, nuts, baking soda, fish-liver oil, baking powder, and anything else that you can thing of to store — meat, etc.  Get them for long storage — again that’s minimum 1 year supply for every member of your family and any member of your family that in a catastrophe might come home.  : )

2)  Medical supplies.  You can’t have enough medical supplies.  Bandages, bandaids, aspirin, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and any other medicine that you need.  For me, because I don’t take drugs, this means a year’s supply minimum of vitamins and minerals, as well as any herbs needed for medical emergencies.  And remember this is a 1 year supply for every member of your family — and those who might join you later on.

3)  Seeds — organic seeds, if you please.  The reason for heirloom, organic seeds is that the new Monsanto seeds and even the more common hybrid seeds don’t produce seeds for replanting — and keeping seeds from year to year is vital.  Even is you live in the city, you can start a garden of some kind.  My husband and I live in the city and instead of growing a lawn, we are now growing a garden.  We are learning also that one needs to LEARN how to garden and how to keep out pests.  So far squirrels and rabbits are benefitting from our new garden.  : )

4)  An herb garden is pretty essential.  From an herb garden you can obtain many medicinal plants — like  Echinacea and Goldenseal, as well as Oregano, sage and other herbs.  And again, even if you live on the city, you can probably start a garden on the roof or on a window seal.  You might even be able to make friends with local farmers who might be able to help you through a tough time, but I would advise you to plant as much as you can for yourself and for your family.

5)  Protection.

Now, while it might be fun to have these two men riding protection for you, probably it is a good idea to have a rifle or a gun of some kind as a form of self and family protection as well as protection of your food stores.  Personally, I think our Founding Fathers were right in guaranteeing the natural God-given right to bear arms.  Every creature will try to defend itself against any who seek to kill it.  For people, this means guns and other means to protect yourself.  After all, criminals and vandals are criminals and vandals because they can’t obey the law — therefore, they will always find a way to get guns.  My huband and I belong to Frontsight, a shooting organization that teaches you not only self-protection and makes sure that you know how to place a good shot, but teaches you when to make that shot and when not to.  But not only is protection important in emergencies — to protect the lives of your family and yourself — guns are important in keeping pests like rabbits and squirrels away from your garden — guns can also bring in fresh game in case of a food shortage.  If you don’t like guns and will absolutely not have one in your household, then I would advise you to learn self-defense — hand-to-hand — and to learn to use a bow and arrow for hunting.

Okay, let’s see.  What have I left out?  There’s something that’s important that I’m not thinking of here.

Oh, yes, a subject that is dear to the pocketbook:

6)  Some sort of cash.  Now what do I mean by cash?  Some say silver or gold with lead to protect that silver or gold.  : )  Some say to invest in the Euro — just in case the dollar falls.  I will say right here and right now that this is not an area that I know much about.  And if there is some kind of castastrophe — heaven forbid — or martial law — double heaven forbid — what might people use as money?  Barter?  Gold?  Silver?  Your guess is as good as mine.  All I know is that you might want to have something on hand to barter with.

Well, now that’s all I can think of right now.  You might be able to think of other things that one might to do be prepared.  In the old days — the days of my grandparents, all families had either a full year’s supply of food on hand and/or a victory garden.  When I was growing up, almost all of my neighbors  had gardens of one kind or another — chicken coops, etc.

How about you?  Can you think of something I’ve forgotten here in order to be prepared for any sort of economical or other kind of emergency?  Do you remember the victory gardens?  Families with supplies of food on hand, just in case?  Or were you a Girl Scout and taught to always be prepared?

I’m not wishing for  this — I hope a cause for this never happens — but just in case…

And don’t forget, I’ll be giving away a free copy of LONE ARROW’S PRIDE to some lucky blogger.  This applies, by the way to the great 50 States and Canada only. 

So come on in and let’s talk about survival.

Winnie Griggs’ Winner

A big THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by today and left a comment on my post.  It was soooo great to be able to share my joy with all of you.

NOW, on to the drawing.   The randomly selected winner  is….


Congratulations!  If you’ll go to my website and select which title you want then email me through the contact page and I’ll get it out to you lickety-split.