The Book is done!

     I just wrote The End on my latest book, CLAIMING THE DOCTOR’S HEART.   That may not seem like a big deal to you.  After all, I’m a writer.  Finishing books is what I do.  This time, however, I cut it close, too close for comfort.  The manuscript is due on my editor’s desk today.  This is not the way I like to do things.  I’m a planner.  An organizer.  Someone who color coordinates her closet.  And puts all the cat toys in a nice, neat pile.  Stressed out doesn’t begin to describe my state of mind right now.

     The good news?  I wrote THE END.  I made the deadline.  Whoop, whoop.  Cue the halleluiah chorus.  It’s time to celebrate.  My husband is always up for this part of the writing process.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love that man?

     Now that I have a few free moments to myself, it’s time to catch up on all the things I let slide.  I plan to scale Mt. Laundry this afternoon, clean the bathrooms, organize my clothes by style and color.  I also plan to catch up with friends and family I’ve not spoken to in a few weeks.  On that note, I called my father this morning and told him the good news.  He asked me, “Does that mean you’re starting a new book today?”

     My response?  Hahahahahahahahaha!  No, I will NOT be starting a new book today.  I’m taking the rest of the week off and indulging in some reading of my own.  My To Be Read (TBR) pile has gotten out of control.  In honor of all the enjoyment I plan to have, I thought I would share what I’ll be reading this week.

Big Sky SummerBig Sky Summer by Linda Lael Miller

The Last RenegadeThe Last Renegade by Jo Goodman

A Lady by MidnightA Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

     What’s in your TBR pile?

     Post a comment and I’ll send one lucky winner a copy of my July release, THE OUTLAW’S REDEMPTION.    The Outlaw's Redemption cover art

Books Are My Family’s Inheritance

I’ve seen a couple of recent blogs about “inheritance” books—you know, those books that you have loved for your lifetime and plan to pass to the next generation. That reminded me of the baby shower given for my nephew and niece not long ago. Guests were asked to bring a book for the baby’s library. My sister and I decided it was time to pass on part of our “inheritance.”

TThe Wild Swanhe book we chose to give to the next generation was a picture book based on The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Anderson. It’s a favorite fairytale of mine, featuring a king, a wicked step-mother and the children she can’t wait to get rid of. So she sends the girl away and curses the boys, who become swans by day and turn into themselves as the sun goes down. Only the love and devotion of the daughter saves her brothers and returns them to a normal life.

The book is full of beautiful images and the cover has inset 3D artwork. But the best part is that the book was a gift from our grandmother and granddaddy when we were in grade school, which makes it extra special to pass on to the next generation.

Do you have an “inheritance” book on your shelves? Or one you’ve already shared? What is it and what makes it special for you?

Lyn Cote’s Winner

 

Blog P 2Babies and doorsteps and schoolmarms…sounds like an interesting proposition. Thank you, Miss Lyn!

I put all the names in my ten gallon hat and…….

The winner of THE BABY BEQUEST is…………..

HATTIE NORMAN

Woo-Hoo!! I’m dancin’ a jig for you, Hattie! Someone will contact you for your mailing particulars so be watching.

Filly New Release Update – Aug. 2013


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. 

 

BoxedSetCoverIN THE ARMS OF A COWBOY, a boxed set
By Pam Crooks

4 Best-Loved Historical Romances in 1 Boxed Set!

HANNAH’S VOW

Hannah grew up on the wrong side of the law, daughter of a master thief and student to his trade. But when he dies at the hands of an angry mob, she flees to a monastery to escape the world and her sins.
Quinn is betrayed by his brother and sentenced to a life in prison. Only the thirst for revenge keeps him alive. He will do anything to escape.
Together they must run for their lives to survive their pasts. And in the journey, they find truth . . . and an unlikely love in their hearts.

WYOMING WILDFLOWER

All Sonnie Mancuso wants is to be needed by her father. Unfortunately, he already has a daughter–six, to be exact–and all he needs is a son.
Orphaned in the slums of New York, fifteen-year-old Lance Harmon needs a home. Sonnie’s father gives him one, on the cattle-rich Rocking M ranch. Through the years, Lance learns to love the land, the work . . . and Sonnie.
But Vince Mancuso’s health is failing, and there’s trouble on the Wyoming range. Sonnie returns home to claim the legacy that’s rightfully hers . . . but learns Lance has already claimed it.

LADY GYPSY

Liza was born to roam the land with her mother’s people, but she’s 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 seek safety in his. When Reese’s careful plans for success are threatened, he must fight to save all he’s worked for.
Will it cost him the love he’s found with the beautiful, black-eyed woman with red-gold hair? His Lady Gypsy?

BROKEN BLOSSOMS

Carleigh wants only to escape her father’s lies and find the mother she never knew. When she flees into the California wilderness, Trig is blackmailed by her unscrupulous father to chase after her.
But as a special agent for the United States government, he is drawn into an opium smuggling ring only Carleigh and her mother can help expose, and he is forced to choose between two loves–Carleigh or his country.
Will it cost him the only family he has left in the world? Or will he find new life with the beautiful woman whose very blood marked her his enemy?

THE BABY BEQUEST by Lyn Cote

Blog P 2The school ma’rm–a favorite character in frontier-prairie stories–is my new heroine Miss Ellen Thurston in The Baby Bequest. My editor was not too excited about my ideas at first because it’s not the usual frontier story.

 My heroine is a well educated lady of quality in a frontier setting.

And my hero is an unusual character, a German immigrant.

 We forget that non-English European immigrants had to overcome a great deal of prejudice in America. Germans were called “Dutch,” a corruption of what Germans call themselves, Deutsche,  pronounced “Doit-cha.”

 But my editor let me go with this unusual hero and heroine and in the end, she liked the story. (Let’s hope that’s a common reaction.) 🙂

 If you read the first book in my “Wilderness Brides” series, Their Frontier Family, you have met Ellen. She visited her cousin who lives in Pepin, WI, (on the eastern shore of the northern Mississippi River) in 1870.

 And of course, I hit Ellen with something she never expected in Pepin–a BABY ON HER DOORSTEP. Blog P 3

 That’s the event that stirs the pot, so to speak. Ellen is committed to keeping the child and raising him. But the community is set against her, their maidenly schoolteacher, doing so. Schoolteachers aren’t married and definitely don’t have children–what will people think!

 The hero Kurt Lang also considers it a bad idea, but because he is raising his teen-aged brother and seven-year-old nephew by himself. He understands that single parenthood is a difficult road.

 And Ellen doesn’t have to only deal with negative popular opposition, her family which she left behind in Galena, IL, keeps popping in and dragging Ellen back into dealing with family issues. Wait till you read about Alice, Ellen’s sister in law, a real piece of work.  Blog P 1

 So this isn’t a frontier story of wagon trains, bank robbers, pony soldiers, etc. This is a story of people in a small town confronted by an unusual situation and how it all works out–for the best.

 

Blurb for The Baby Bequest. 

Schoolteacher Ellen Thurston never expected to find love in Pepin, Wisconsin. But the moment she discovers a baby boy outside her door, it’s love at first sight. While the townsfolk don’t approve of Ellen as a single mother, what worries her most are her feelings for the handsome farmer who defends her decision to keep the child.?

Ellen is far above the reach of a German immigrant like Kurt Lang. Especially one weighted with responsibility. Kurt knows how hard it is to raise a child alone, but he will do whatever it takes to help make Ellen’s dream of a family come true.

Now for your opinions–

I admit I’ve always wanted to write a story about a woman finding a baby on her doorstep. It’s intriguing, isn’t it? Have you ever thought about it? Have you ever read another secret baby or unknown baby story that you enjoyed? Please share. Would you like to find a baby on your doorstep?

 Also Miss Ellen Thurston is from Galena IL. What president was from Galena? I’ll be happy to give away a copy of The Baby Bequest  to a commenter. 

Blog P 4

 

 

 

 

Save Your Pennies

newsletter_headerjpg - 2Piggy BankThis weekend, my two boys decided they wanted the spend the money they”d been saving on a ping pong table. They scraped together their birthday/Christmas money, their allowance and chore money, and even dumped their piggy banks. Their dad paid for the table with our credit card then the kids paid us back. So here I go to the bank with a ziplock full of $25 in dimes, nickles, and pennies. Carrying all that heavy change around made me think about what currency was like in the 19th century.  Early on, bank notes were not trusted because if the bank failed, your note became worthless. Therefore people tended to prefer carrying their money around in coin form. But what form did those coins take?

I did a little digging at some of my favorite currency research sites*, and I thought I”d share some of what I found. Today we”ll look just at cents. A penny may not go far in our current economy, but back in the 1800″s they sometimes even made change for them–with half cents.

Half Cents

Half Cents

Half cent coins were made of pure copper and were nearly the size of a modern-day quarter. These were popular at the beginning of the 19th century, but as inflation drove prices upward, the need for such a coin dwindled. It was completely abandoned prior to the Civil War.

Large Cents

Large Cents

As you can see, the design on the large cents were nearly identical to that of the half cents. Yet, like the name implies, the large cents were made with twice as much copper as the half cents and were larger and heavier. When copper prices rose throughout the 1800″s, the large cents became too expensive to continue making, so in 1857 they started making small cents, the pennies we are familiar with today.

Small Cents

Small Cents

The Flying Eagle cent was introduced in 1856 and was minted for just 3 years before being replaced with the Indian Head cent. In 1909, the Lincoln cent became America”s first circulating coin to portray a president. It originally featured the “Wheat Ears” reverse design, which was changed to the Lincoln Memorial in 1959.

And did you know there there were also 2 cent and 3 cent coins? The 1864 Coin Act called for a 2¢ copper coin. This Civil War-era coin was America’s first and only 2¢ piece. It was also the first coin to carry the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST. The 2¢ coin was minted from 1864-1873.

2 and 3 cents

The 3¢ coin was forged from silver and many hoarded it during the war. When a shortage occurred, the government opted to change the composition to copper nickel. These new coins became known as 3¢ nickles because of the material used to strike them.

So what is a penny worth to you? Do you have a lucky penny? If you saw a penny on the ground, would you stop to pick it up? Did you ever save up your coins as a child to buy something special? What was it?

 

*Information gathered from the Littleton Coin Company .

 

Lyn Cote All Set to Sashay Into the Junction

 

Blog P 2Miss Lyn Cote has hitched up her skirts and climbed aboard a stage. She’ll arrive on Saturday, July 27.

The subject has Miss Lyn has in mind is school marms. She’ll share a few tidbits about the profession and how it served as inspiration for her newest book THE BABY BEQUEST.

Poor ol’ Jasper needs to go to school but he’d just eat the books.

Miss Lyn is toting a copy of her book to giveaway too.

So get your rear in gear come Saturday and follow the trail to the Junction.

You’ll find us out on the porch sipping on some cold lemonade.

Bad Boy Heroes . . .

Victoria Bylin BannerI like men who swagger. When a man with an attitude enters a room, everyone knows it. Men of lesser confidence back down, and women look twice.  Out of my own books, my two favorite heroes are John Leaf in Abbie’s Outlaw and J.T. Quinn in The Outlaw’s Return.  Both of these men have outlaw pasts, but they also have hearts for love, truth and justice.johnnycash

So what makes a bad boy so appealing?  The swagger is part of it; so is the rebellion and the sex appeal. But what most appeals to me is the back story.  Why is he the way he is?  What happened to him?  Who hurt him?  My bad boys heroes are rogues, but they’re also willing to die for people they love.

I thought it would be fun to take a look at the research that goes into a bad boy hero.  It’s not exactly research in the academic sense. It’s rhettmore like daydreaming, but these characters have to start somewhere.  Here’s my list of favorite bad boys from real life, fiction, movies and television.

No. 1 on my list is Johnny Cash. The man in black had a bad-to-the-bone swagger, and Walk the Line is one of my favorite movies. Later in life, he made a u-turn. The story of Nickajack Cave is legendary. It’s the place where he decided to give up some bad habits and become a new man. He did . . . but he didn’t stop swaggering.

No. 2 is Rhett Butler. I haven’t seen Gone With the Wind in years, but I can still recall the scene where he and Scarlett are fleeing Atlanta and he kisses her. Talk about confidence!  It’s got to be one of the most romantic scenes ever. Even in the end, after he loses his little girl and is mellowed by grief, Rhett still has an inner strength. Daniel Craig James Bond Quantum of Solace movie image

The No. 3 slot goes to Bruce Springsteen for his music. His “Born to Run” CD is one of my favorites. The title track is a legend, and so is “Thunder Road.” Bruce grabs life by the shoulders and shakes it. I love that! It’s the same energy that settled the American West, the same boldness that gave us heroes and outlaws and Wild West legends.

No. 4 on my list is Daniel Craig in the James  Bond movies. He took one of the longest running franchise roles of all  time and made it fresh and original.   Humor, courage, intelligence and a big dash of arrogance make the new James Bond a pleasure to watch

No. 5 . . . Johnny Cain in Penelope Williamson’s The Outsider has been at the top of my list of favorite western bad boys ever since I read the book back in the 1999. It’s the book that made me to tell stories of my own, and I love it more than ever.

Real or imaginary . . . Who are some of your favorite bad boy heroes?