Woo-Hoo! Author and songwriter Jan Sikes will visit the Fillies on Tuesday, July 2nd.
Miss Jan plans to share some of the ins and outs of honky-tonks and what it was like living that kind of life. Word has it that she knows about it because she lived it. In addition to writing novels, this talented lady is also an accomplished singer as well as songwriter. I’ve always had a hankering to get me a guitar, saddle up my cantankerous mule, and try my hand at being a singing cowgirl. Hee-hee!
You’ll be thrilled to know that Miss Jan has put a copy of FLOWERS AND STONE in her saddlebag to give away.
So shake those wrinkles out of your bustle and hightail it over to the Junction.
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 their names.
“I’m Trying to Be Honorable, Grace. I Advise You Not to Push Me.” He has money, power and a blood connection. How on earth did Grace Chandler think she could fight Emilio Santana for custody of her stepsister’s baby? As Emilio’s orphaned nephew, the boy is, after all, the last Santana heir.
Grace isn’t about to let the child travel overseas without her and accepts the billionaire’s offer to act as nanny. Soon they are in a more…comfortable relationship than either had imagined. There is definite passion pulsing between them, but desire without trust is a dangerous mix.
CLAIMING HIS CHILD
Who would guess the most formidable adversary former gunslinger Hunter Mitchell ever faced would be a fiery, violet-eyed female? Now that he’s served his time, Hunter intends to claim the daughter he’s only just discovered. While the law is on his side this time, his daughter’s devoted aunt certainly isn’t.
Annabeth Silks can’t bear to let a onetime outlaw take little Sarah. As the daughter of an infamous madam, she knows the hardship of an unstable home. But every glimpse of Hunter’s reformed character dares Annabeth to look beyond his past…to the family and future she never thought to find.
While doing research for my latest novel, Trouble in Store, I realized I needed to learn more about Native American cliff dwellings. As enjoyable as it is to study about historic sites in books and online, it’s even more fun to visit them in person. Fortunately, a number of protected sites are within easy reach here in northern Arizona.
One of those is found at beautiful Walnut Canyon, a short drive east of Flagstaff. This site captured my imagination the first time I saw it at age nine, and over the years I’ve become more fascinated with each visit.
Inhabited by the Sinagua people some 900 years ago, the homes in Walnut Canyon were constructed within the limestone ledges in the canyon walls.
The ruins can be reached by way of a steep trail hugging the cliff walls. And that’s one of the things I love most about Walnut Canyon. Visitors don’t have to experience this glimpse into the past at arm’s length. Instead, they’re able to walk in the steps of those who came before, peer into the soot-stained rooms and touch the walls erected so long ago.
Hiking along the narrow path, I tried to envision myself living there centuries ago and wondering about the challenges a mother would have faced in that setting. Can you imagine what it would be like to keep track of a brood of young children, with no baby gates, no fenced lawn to keep them corralled? Or when your “front yard” was only a few feet wide . . . and one false step would lead straight down to the bottom of the rocky canyon?
I’m glad to be a mother in this century. Parenting has never been a simple task, but I’ll take most modern problems over the ones those ancient moms faced any day!
About 50 miles farther south is Montezuma Castle National Monument, located near Camp Verde.
Like the dwellings in Walnut Canyon, Montezuma Castle isn’t what most of us picture when we think of a Native American encampment. Instead of lodges or tepees clustered in a village, this centuries-old, high-rise apartment is nestled into the side of a towering limestone cliff. Try to imagine the logistics of something as simple as making a daily trek to gather food or get water!
These rooms didn’t boast a lot of closet space, so some of the residents’ food and other supplies were kept in storage caves at the bottom of the cliff wall—sort of a “downstairs pantry” concept.
While staring from the abandoned dwellings above to the caves below, I felt a tingle. Suddenly, I could see a similar cliff dwelling as part of the area surrounding my fictional town of Cedar Ridge. That mental image inspired the background for several pivotal scenes in the book.
That’s one of the things I love most about research—you just never know when some tidbit of information will prove to be the very thing that sparks an idea that breathes life into a scene!
Many thanks to Karen Witemeyer for inviting me to spend time with you today! I’ll be giving away a copy of Trouble in Store, so be sure to leave a comment in order to be included in the drawing.
Welcome to Petticoats & Pistols today, the final day of our special event! Mary Connealy will be giving away our prize today, a $25 AMAZON gift certificate, so be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing! Today, I’m going to post one of the first blogs I ever wrote for P&P about two remarkable young boys, Bud and Temple Abernathy and their true life adventures as long riders. Even now, over 100 years later, they still hold the record for the youngest long riders ever. Here is their incredible story!
In the summer of 1909, two young brothers under the age of ten set out to make their own “cowboy dreams” come true. They rode across two states on horseback. Alone.
It’s a story that sounds too unbelievable to be true, but it is.
Oklahoma had been a state not quite two years when these young long riders undertook the adventure of a lifetime. The brothers, Bud (Louis), and Temple Abernathy rode from their Tillman County ranch in the southwest corner of the state to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Bud was nine years old, and Temple was five.
They were the sons of a U.S. Marshal, Jack Abernathy, who had the particular talent of catching wolves and coyotes alive, earning him the nickname “Catch ’Em Alive Jack.”
Odd as it seems to us today, Jack Abernathy had unwavering faith in his two young sons’ survival skills. Their mother had died the year before, and, as young boys will, they had developed a wanderlust listening to their father’s stories.
Jack agreed to let them undertake the journey, Bud riding Sam Bass (Jack’s own Arabian that he used to chase wolves down with) and Temple riding Geronimo, a half-Shetland pony. There were four rules the boys had to agree to: Never to ride more than fifty miles a day unless seeking food or shelter; never to cross a creek unless they could see the bottom of it or have a guide with them; never to carry more than five dollars at a time; and no riding on Sunday.
The jaunt into New Mexico to visit their father’s friend, governor George Curry, took them six weeks. Along the way, they were escorted by a band of outlaws for many miles to ensure their safe passage. The boys didn’t realize they were outlaws until later, when the men wrote to Abernathy telling him they didn’t respect him because he was a marshal. But, in the letter, they wrote they “liked what those boys were made of.”
One year later, they set out on the trip that made them famous. At ten and six, the boys rode from their Cross Roads Ranch in Frederick, Oklahoma, to New York City to meet their friend, former president Theodore Roosevelt, on his return from an African safari. They set out on April 5, 1910, riding for two months.
Along the way, they were greeted in every major city, being feted at dinners and amusement parks, given automobile rides, and even an aeroplane ride by Wilbur Wright in Dayton, Ohio.
Their trip to New York City went as planned, but they had to buy a new horse to replace Geronimo. While they were there, he had gotten loose in a field of clover and nearly foundered, and had to be shipped home by train.
They traveled on to Washington, D.C., and met with President Taft and other politicians.
It was on this trip that the brothers decided they needed an automobile of their own. They had fallen in love with the new mode of transportation, and they convinced their father to buy a Brush runabout. After practicing for a few hours in New York, they headed for Oklahoma—Bud drove, and Temple was the mechanic.
They arrived safe and sound back in Oklahoma in only 23 days.
But their adventures weren’t over. The next year, they were challenged to ride from New York City to San Francisco. If they could make it in 60 days, they would win $10,000. Due to some bad weather along the 3,619-mile-long trip, they missed the deadline by only two days. Still, they broke a record—and that record of 62 days still stands, nearly one hundred years later.
The boys’ last cross country trip was made in 1913 driving a custom designed, two-seat motorcycle from their Cross Roads Ranch to New York City. They returned to Oklahoma by train.
As adults, Temple became an oilman, and Bud became a lawyer. There is a statue that commemorates the youngest long riders ever in their hometown of Frederick, Oklahoma, on the lawn of the Tillman County Courthouse.
BE SURE TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE ENTERED IN TODAY’S DRAWING, A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD FROM MARY CONNEALY!
Miss Carol Cox will be coming around the bend shortly. Yippee! The dear lady will visit with us on Saturday, June 29th.
She comes armed with a whole lot of information about Native American cliff dwellings. I don’t rightly know much about the subject but am chomping at the bit to find out all about these. I can bet you are too. A lot about the earliest Americans is steeped in mystery.
Also…..Miss Carol is toting a book to give away to some lucky person.
So get up when the rooster crows on Saturday and hitch up your wagon.
Come sit a spell with us over here at the Junction!
It”s June, which partly explains why brides are very much on my mind. There”s also another reason: A Bride for All Seasons, a collection I wrote with Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton and filly Mary Connealy, was released last week.
A Cowboy Comes A-Courting originally ran February 20, 2011. I don”t remember what I gave away then, but this time you”re in for a treat. Karen Kay is giving away a copy of War Cloud”s Passion to one lucky person.
A Cowboy Comes A-Courting
Cowboys had a way with words so it’s not surprising that they used some pur-ty colorful terms to describe matters of the heart, and that included courting. “Gittin’ hitched” was serious business and spooning or sparking no less so.
Nothing changed the concept of marriage and courting as much as the westward movement. Marriage offered a semblance of security in an unsettled land. For a widow or widower with children finding a spouse was a dire necessity.
Rules that had defined courtships for centuries went out the window. Marriages arranged by well-meaning parents were no longer the norm. Ordering a bride from a catalogue was and following the Civil War, dozens of marriage brokers sprang up. Not all were scrupulous.
Women asserting their rights politically also demanded matrimony democracy as well. Demographics in the west were on their side for women were vastly outnumbered by men. In the mid 1800s one man lamented that there was only sixty or seventy women in all of Houston. He never said how many of those women he’d be willing to take home to mom.
Couples took buggy rides; went on picnics;
cuddled in the hayloft; and danced at socials.
A man having fancy for a woman might give her a token. If he was serious Unibet on todella erinomainen rahapelisivu, jota voi suositella lampimasti kaikille – ja muidenkin rahapelien – ystaville. he might even start hoarding coffee. Yep, that’s right coffee. The coffee that won the west may have owed its popularity more to courtship than to taste or convenience. John Arbuckle came up with what at the time was a unique marketing plan; He added coupons or vouchers to packages of coffee that could be redeemed for goods. Arbuckle’s catalog contained thousands of items. Twenty-eight coupons could get you a razor, for example, but the most popular item by far was the finger ring.
During the 1890s Arbuckle Brothers was the largest distributor of finger rings in the world. In “Arbuckles” author Francis Fugate quotes a company official who bears this out: “One of our premiums is a wedding ring, and if all the rings of this pattern serve their intended purpose then we have been participants in eighty thousand weddings a year.”
Getting married wasn’t always that easy. Some communities didn’t have a regular preacher and had to depend on a circuit preacher who might not show up for months at a time. It wasn’t unusual for a saddle preacher to ride into town and find couples waiting to get married with toddlers in hand.
It might have been the gun that won the Wild, Wild West but it was love that tamed it.
Tell us about your courting days and you might win a copy of Karen”s