Growing up in Idaho, the history of Lewis and Clark and the opening of the west to settlers was a large part of the history I learned as a child. As part of the Pacific Northwest, the land that became our state was wild and unsettled. A perfect place to put down roots, raise a family, and build a homestead. Unfortunately, the land that easterners thought of as uninhabited, the Nez Perce Indian tribe called home.
Definitely a disaster waiting to happen.
One story out of the history books that always stuck with me was about Henry and Eliza Spaulding, the first white settlers in what’s now the state of Idaho. Now, there’s some debate on that claim, and I’ve found a couple mentions of a fur trading business set up as early as 1805
so I don’t know if that part of the story is true. But the Presbyterian missionary couple was one of the first waves of westward expansion to inhabit Idaho. Henry and his wife built a homestead in a beautiful area now known as Lewiston. Nestled in the middle of the state, even now, the area is more rural than the capital Boise, which lies south of the area. The current residents depend on forestry, agriculture and mining for jobs and commerce.
In 1836, Rev. Henry and Eliza Spaulding travelled across the country with their friends, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. But when the Whitman’s decided to set up a mission in nearby Walla, Walla Washington, Henry and Eliza pushed on farther into the wilderness into what is now Idaho and the Clearwater River site. The couple stopped at a site near Lapwai Creek and Eliza wrote about the clear springs and natural beauty of the spot. After building at one site, which was little more than a swamp, they moved a few years later to the mouth of the creek and the pair settled there in 1838.
The couple started teaching and preaching to the Nez Perce Indians who lived in the area. Before they left in 1844, they’d built a school, printing house, and additional living quarters for some of the Nez Perce who helped run the mission. Henry felled trees and built a log home for his lovely bride.
In 1844, fearing for their lives, they abandon their mission and school. Word had just arrived that their friends, the Whitman’s, were massacred in their home in Walla, Walla, in an Indian uprising. Thirty years later, the Nez Perce were headed to a reservation, and the west had been changed forever.
As a child, the idea of starting over, in a land where you didn’t know anyone, seemed inconceivable. I wondered about the woman who taught the children to read as she tried to make a life in the wilderness. Why had she agreed to leave her home in the east for an uncertain future? Had she been excited about the possibilities, or frightened at the dangers?
As an adult, I’ve taken a different route, moving east from Idaho to the edge of Illinois, where Lewis and Clark started their journey. And I find myself in Eliza’s shoes, trying to navigate my way through a land where things are different than home. People are different. But Eliza taught me one important lesson as I studied her life so many years ago. You make your place in the world. And you decide if you’re happy or not.
Today, I’m giving away another Idaho story for your e-reader to one lucky commenter. The Bull Rider’s Brother is set in a fictional little mountain town nestled on the road between Boise and the Spaulding site.
Shawnee, Idaho is known for two things. Amazing salmon fishing and the first local rodeo of the summer. For four friends, growing up in Shawnee, meant one thing, making plans to get out. Five years later, that wish has been granted for all but one. What happens when they all get together again changes five lives.
When James Sullivan visits his hometown’s rodeo weekend and learns that his high school sweetheart had his child – six years ago – Lizzie Hudson’s world is thrown into turmoil. In THE BULL RIDER”S BROTHER, James struggles with family and Lizzie questions the risk of love.
Click on the cover to purchase on Amazon.
Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her
alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters to modern cowboys. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want. She blogs at her website, A Fairy Tale Life.
We have a winner for a free ebook, and that winner is Katie J. Congratulations to Katy.
You know, Katy, if I remember correctly you said you don”t have an ereader and so please email me privately at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(d0t)net and we”ll go over what books I have here with me that I can send you that are in mass market copy. I”m out of town at the moment and so don”t have all of my books with me. So email me privately and we”ll figure it out.
My hearty thanks to all those who came here today and left a comment! You are the best!
A couple days ago I was tagged by Lois Greiman, author extraordinaire of Historical Romance and mystery. I am supposed to answer these following questions and then write a blog in answer to these questions, so here are my answers to the questions, but before we go there, let me say that I”ll be giving away a free ebook from the LAKOTA series to some lucky blogger today. So come on in and leave a message. Okay, so with that said, here are the questions I”m to answer:
What is the working title of your next book?
Where did the idea come from?
This is the 4th book in one of my earlier series’s – the LAKOTA Series. The idea also came from music – creating the story to music. Below is a picture of the new LAKOTA SURRENDER book.
What genre best defines your book?
Historical Romance – Native American
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Tough one. I think I would choose a young Tom Cruise for the hero and a young Deanna Durbin for the heroine
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A hero and heroine who have pure simplicity
and honesty in their hearts, can overcome the most savage of betrayals and find a forever love. Below is a picture of the second book in the LAKOTA series, LAKOTA PRINCESS.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? This is an ebook only book and it will go directly to my ebook publisher, Samhain Publishing.
How long did it take you to write the first draft? Well, uh, gee, I’m still writing it.
books would you compare this story to within your genre? That would be to my very first book, LAKOTA SURRENDER.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It was inspired by a bad situation in my life where I needed a true hero. The interesting part of that story is that I did have my own true-to-life hero, my husband. Below is the cover of the third book in the series, PROUD WOLF”S WOMAN.
What else about the book might pique the reader”s interest? This book is a companion book to LAKOTA SURRENDER, a continuing story of Tahiska and Kristina through their son. It’s a book about betrayal and love inspired in a place and at a time when it should have been impossible to fall in love. But then romance is all about making the impossible…possible…
I hope I”ve tickled your interest in my next book. Meanwhile I”ll be leaving a link where you can go to order the first three of the LAKOTA series.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be joining the talented group of writers at Pistols and Petticoats. And, yes, I’ve already been hearing what a great bunch of cowboy-loving blog followers you are. I’m sure I will recognize some of your names from other sites, but for the rest of you. it’s get acquainted time. So let me tell you about myself and about my books.
My name is Joanna Wayne and I live in Texas now though I’m actually a Louisiana native. I was born and grew up in Shreveport, LA. Shreveport is a great little town tucked away in the northwest corner of the state in an area frequently referred to as the Ark-La-Tex. Take my word for it, the culture there is far more East Texas than it is southern Louisiana. There were always lots of sexy, two-steppin’, swaggering guys in boots, jeans and Stetsons around. And they were the real thing.
Later in life, I married and moved to New Orleans. As anyone who has ever visited the Big Easy knows, New Orleans is a world unto itself as are the bayou areas outside the city. My writing has been greatly influenced by the sultry heat and passion of the city and my bestselling novel ever, Alligator Moon, was written while I still lived in New Orleans.
But as luck would have it, one of my writer friends had an uncle who owned a ranch in South Texas. She invited me along one day for a visit to the ranch. That’s all it took. From that day on I was hooked and not just on the cute cowboys. The culture and lifestyle totally captivated me. I wanted to experience every aspect of it. Thanks to her family, I did just that, even down to fixing fence and rounding up cattle–by helicopter, no less. And every night we gathered around the dinner table after a magnificent meal and I listened to their humorous and sometimes poignant stories of ranch life.
I wrote my first western shortly after that, Family Ties, a romantic suspense set on a ranch in South Texas. The book was such a hit that my editor quickly asked for a story for each of the brothers. From that day on I was considered a western writer, though I still write an occasional book set in Louisiana. (Bayou Payback, a novella in Cover Me will be released next month.) Through the years, I have spent as much time as possible on working ranches, getting to know the people and coming to understand their great love and respect for the land and their cowboy lifestyle.
Then, nine years ago, my husband and I made the decision to move to Texas. We found the perfect spot to settle, a small town about 60 miles northwest of Houston. I’ll admit, though, that cowboys and ranching weren’t the only draw. My son and my daughter had already settled in Texas, and both my grandchildren are proud Texans by birth.
Now about my books, which I know is what you’re really here for. I write romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue. I have over fifty books in print, most available now in digital format and a few of the most recent in audible formats. I love family stories and frequently write series about large families. Some of
the bestselling series include Family Ties, Colts Run Cross, Special Ops Texas, Sons of Troy Ledger, Big “D” Dads, and coming in June Trumped-Up Charges, the first book in the Big “D” Dads—the Daltons series. If you like suspenseful, sensual, heartwarming stories of modern-day ranching families, I hope you’ll check them out.
I’ll be telling you much more about my books in the near future. In the meantime, I”m looking forward to your comments and hoping to hear from all of you soon. Already Petticoats and Pistols feels like home. Can I get a yee-haw?
There’s a song I like called Check My Brain that starts out, “So I found myself in the sun…oh yeah. He** of a place to end my run, oh yeah…”
When I sat down to write this post, that song popped into my head. It’s a neat idea, riding into the sunset. There’s a finality to it but a hopefulness too, I think. Sunsets are beautiful, warm, and comforting. It’s very different from, say, riding off into a rain storm. Huddled against sleet or snow or wind. Riding into the sunset kind of says, well, I’m done here, but I’m moving on to some great things. Just wait until tomorrow.
I’m riding away from the Junction after a few years of being a regular resident. But I’m not riding
away in the cold and dark. I’m in the sun, feeling good about my time here, and with the knowledge that I’ll be back. I’m not sure that you, the blog readers, get a true sense
of what it’s like to be part of this group. It’s a sisterhood. It’s warm and friendly, hardworking and generous, and always, ALWAYS there to lend a hand or a sympathetic ear. Take it from me – the P&P gals are something special. I’d be crazy to leave that behind forever.
And because it kind of feels like “Once a filly, always a filly”, I’m going to be back for regular visits. While I’m going to be writing more than westerns, I’m can’t leave my cowboys and ranchers alone completely. Hopefully there’ll be room at the table for me to pop by during my release months. Have a good gab and catch up with y’all, and let you know what I’m up to.
So it’s Happy Trails for now…but really it is only until we meet again.
My new motto is “Fearless and Faithful; Women Who Dare”. And dare I have – by releasing an ebook, WAGES OF SIN, a 94,000 word saga that was written for a very special lady – Me. Anyone who is published will identify with that claim.
It all started years back when, on one of our many trips all over the US, we happened to stop in New Mexico where local skirmishes dubbed the “Lincoln County War” took place. Talk about fascinating! Not only were the lines between sides blurred, the good guys and the bad guys were sometimes interchangeable, depending on which judge happened to be in power and how mad he was at various ranchers – and sheepmen. Gotta remember them. It was the murder of one of the sheep raisers that supposedly started the gunplay. Don’t let anybody tell you Tunstall was a cattleman and store owner. The guy started with sheep, so you know how popular that made him, no matter what else he tried to do later.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we have to figure out how schoolteacher Ruby McKay is going to rescue her late sister Emma’s baby from the cruel husband who beat Emma to death, ostensibly the chastise her, shortly after she gave birth to their son. Even if pious, pompous Judge Caleb Stone had not purposely killed his young wife, what kind of a father will he be to the innocent babe? Ruby has experienced his cruelty firsthand and knows what she must do. She has friends who have promised to help her get out ofKansas, until she’s forced to shoot Caleb, maiming him and unwittingly branding herself as an escaping criminal.
I like to think I would be as brave and resourceful as Ruby but being on the run with a newborn in the late 1870s is far different than simply fleeing as an individual. She’ll continue to need outside help and will get it from some very strange folks, like Billy the Kid and wealthy rancher John Chisum.
To quote part of the Author Disclaimer in the front of WAGES OF SIN, “… this is more gritty in tone and language than what you’re used to from Valerie Hansen. I had a strong reason for writing the story this way; I wanted to show that just because a person may be able to quote scripture like an orator, that does not mean that he is spiritual. In my view, one of the most heinous crimes possible is using the Bible for anything but good. Yet it happens. And, as in this story, “the wages of sin is death.” (Sometimes it just takes longer than we think it should.) Don’t worry, readers; remember, the rougher the road, the sweeter the arrival!”
Which brings me to the end of this visit. There is a long excerpt on Amazon that will give you a good idea about this ebook and it is my fondest wish that you will take the time to look it over.
I’ll be offering copies of WAGES OF SIN to two lucky readers who post here. It will be in the form of an Amazon email gift certificate
and delivered to be read on your computer or Kindle if the winner lives in theUSA. If a winner happens to live in another country, I’ll substitute one of my
Well darn it, we have interesting changes in the corral these days. One thing about it life never gets boring at the Junction.
It”s with a sad heart that we must announce that our Filly sister, Donna Alward, has packed her wagon and is heading down the trail. We hate like the dickens to
see her go. It”s
been a treat getting to know her and sharing some of life”s ups and downs with her. She”s been a wonderful part of our little family. But she needs more time to write. We can all understand that. We wish her the very best of whatever life has to offer. Big things will come to her. One door has shut and another has opened.
And just as Donna has thrown her saddlebags in the wagon, new Filly Joanna Wayne is slinging hers out and making herself at home.
Miss Joanna has written a whole passel of western contemporary romance. Her list of publishing credits for Harlequin Intrigue is as long as my arm. Presently, she”s writing the Big “D” Dads series. BIG SHOT is the title of her newest release in that series. This dear talented lady loves writing about sexy cowboys so I think she”ll fit in real fine here. (I just hope she knows a thing or two about mules. I need some help with Jasper. He”s about to be the death of me.)
The Fillies hope everyone will extend a hand of friendship to Miss Joanna. Show her what a nice bunch of readers you are.
Miss Joanna”s first day to blog will be Monday, February 18th.