Happy Birthday, America…thanks for the memories! ~Tanya Hanson

 

God Bless America Cowboy

Fourth of July greetings from Tanya Hanson!  My career teaching American Literature merely enhanced my love of our country’s history. I’m still on cloud nine–over the past few years, my husband and I have been blessed to visit some of America’s most sacred historic sites. I’m not the greatest photographer, but even still, I want to share a few of our highlights today. Enjoy your tour!

First up:  Concord Colonial Inn, Concord, Massachusetts. Here, in the very same tavern we ate dinner, Sam Adams and other patriots held treasonous conversations!

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The  Old North Church, Boston. “…one if by land, two if by sea…”  April 18, 1775

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 The Old North Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts… April 19, 1775

(okay, the original was dismantled in 1793, but still…it’s a highly emotional place.)

“….here, the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn 

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 Independence Hall, Philadelphia  (as you see, it was being restored at the time we were there.)…July 4, 1776

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Liberty Bell, (and me), Constitution Hall, Philadelphia

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The Moore House, Yorktown, Virginia…Surrender Negotiations with Cornwallis, October 17, 1781

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Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Virginia

Plantation home of George Washington. Opened 1757

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Monticello, Virginia hilltop plantation home of  Thomas Jefferson. Opened 1772.

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And although the U.S.S. Constitution, “Old Ironsides,”   wasn’t commissioned until 1797, I thought this quasi-arty snapshot was a good one to close my post today:

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May God continue to preserve our wonderful country, and protect the brave men and women in uniform who keep us free!

 

Carolyn Brown Learns How To Marry a Cowboy

books_066Hello Fillies! I’m so glad to be here today to talk to y’all about How to Marry a Cowboy. I just love propping up my boots and havin’ a glass of sweet tea with all y ‘all!
This is the final book in the Cowboys and Brides series and these characters were so much fun to have in my head while I wrote the book. Y’all know how difficult it is to say goodbye to all the characters at the end of a series. There’s a feeling that we need to set up a family reunion in a year or two so that we can see how everyone is doing.
I knew a little bit about Mason before the book started since I’d met him at a couple of Angus Association parties in the first three books, but Annie Rose and the twins were brand new characters. And the dynamics between Annie Rose and the twins and then the one between her and Mason was exciting and so much fun.
HTMarryCowboy082113AI met Lily and Gabby on page one when Lily was jumping up and down and screaming, “Gabby, come quick! Hot damn, Daddy done got us a new mama!” I knew at that moment the twins and I were going to get along just fine and as soon as they woke up Annie Rose everything was going to work out.
However, Mason and Annie Rose fought with me. Annie Rose wasn’t ready for a relationship with anyone, not with what she’d endured the last time around. Mason wasn’t over the death of his wife, even though it was eight years ago. Neither of them could spare an ounce of trust.
So the little girls and I had our work cut out for us. We started with Annie Rose since she claimed she couldn’t remember anything right there at the first. The girls came up with the idea that since there were dozens of How-To books available that they’d write one to help Annie Rose recover her memories. So they wrote How To Remember and gave her some tips. Then when that worked and she could remember, they wrote another one called How To Be A Rancher and a third one called, How To Be A Mommy.
Annie Rose prized her booklets and with each one she began to trust a little more and more and she wondered how a woman would go about marrying a cowboy like Mason.
Mason had two rules. One was that he never got involved with a woman in the house with the twins. The other was that he never, ever got involved with the nanny. It wasn’t easy convincing him that Annie Rose was more than a nanny. Not when he couldn’t forget his wife who’d died suddenly when the twins were just babies. Since then he’d had been a single father.
He wasn’t sure he could ever trust anyone to take care of his girls or enough to let them into his heart. The last time he’d fallen in love with a woman, he’d lost her. The pain was so intense that he was afraid to give it another try.
So you can see, the twins and I surely did have our work cut out for us. By the time I finished the book, Mason, Annie, Lily and Gabby and I were pretty good friends and I really do hate to see the series end…but hey, someday in the future Lily and Gabby might grow up and want their own books. Like Mason and Annie learned, one never knows what fate can do with the future.
So tell me, folks, do you believe in fate? Has it ever led you down a path that you had no intentions of going, but looking back, you realize it was the perfect path?

Leave a comment to get into the drawing for a copy of HOW TO MARRY A COWBOY.

Visit my website to learn more about me and my cowboys. www.carolynlbrown.com

Thank you all for having me!

Having a Party and You’re All Invited!

God Bless America CowboyAs you know, the Fillies find any excuse to throw a party.

All next week, we’ll be featuring some of the Fillies’ thoughts about Independence Day! Yup, it’s the time of year for shucking corn on the cob and relaxing at the swimming hole with kinfolk, but we’ll hope y’all can join us each day as we honor the birthday of our Nation.

And we might serve a big glass of lemonade too.

Don’t forget now……….

Monday, June 30 clear through to Friday, July 4!!
You might even learn something you didn’t know.

Excerpt Friday – Full Steam Ahead

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Welcome to Excerpt Friday!  Each Friday we’ll be featuring excerpts from recent releases by our very own Fillies.  So grab a cup of coffee and read on.  And if you find you’re hooked by what you read (and we know you will be!) just click on the book cover to purchase the entire book.

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From Author Karen Witemeyer  – FULL STEAM AHEAD

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Click here to order.
Click here to order.

Nicole eased down the stairs, holding her breath when the wall area shielding her gave way to open space, exposing her feet and the white of her sleeping gown. No shouts of discovery sounded, so she continued downward, praying the boards wouldn’t creak beneath her weight.

“Where is it, old man?” one of the intruders demanded. “Tell me, or I’ll start snapping the bones in your fingers and work my way up your arm.”

“Go ahead. I ain’t good for much these days anyhow.”

Papa!
Stubborn, defiant man. He’d never give in to their threats. His body might be weak, but his will was as strong as ever. That’s what scared her.

“Oh, yeah?” a second voice sneered. “What if we break your lovely wife’s fingers instead? Still want to play the hero? It’d be a shame if she couldn’t play the spinet for you any more, don’t you think?”

“No!” Her father’s shout echoed Nicole’s mental cry. “Lay a hand on my wife, and I’ll kill you. I swear it.”

“Big words from a man who can barely stand. Now where’s the dagger?”

The dagger? Oh, no. This was worse that she’d thought. Her father might swallow his pride enough to hand over money or other valuables to spare her mother, but the Lafitte Dagger? It was the Renard family legacy. He’d die before giving it up. She had to do something.

Glancing both ways down the hall to be sure a third man wasn’t lying in wait somewhere, Nicole left the stairs and padded toward her parents’ room. Flattening herself against the wall, she darted a quick glance inside before yanking her head back out of view.

One of the men had a gun on her father in the back left corner. A lamp had fallen from the bedside table and the curtains were half pulled down, as if her father had put up a struggle. Unfortunately, in his weakened condition, he’d been no match for the much younger man.

Nicole gritted her teeth. A year ago, no one would have dared accost Anton Renard in his own home. Even six months ago he would have bested them. The thieves had waited for his illness to do their work for them. Cowards.

Nicole scanned the hall for anything she could use as a weapon. Her gaze settled on a decorative porcelain vase perched on the small Chippendale pedestal table between her parents’ bedroom and the parlor. Seizing it against her chest, she drew in several fortifying breaths before inching back to the bedroom doorway.

“So Renard,” the man taunted, “what’s it gonna be? The dagger or your wife’s hand?”

“Let her go!” Papa demanded at the same time her mother’s soft grunting announced her struggle to free herself.

Visions of her maman’s elegant fingers mangled and crooked spurred Nicole into action. Lifting the heavy vase above her head, she ran into the room and slammed it down upon the intruder’s skull.

Carolyn Brown Has Saddled Up

 

HTMarryCowboy082113AMs Carolyn Brown has put her feet in the stirrups and will arrive on Saturday, June 28!
The Fillies are delighted to have her riding this way. We’ll have a cold glass of sweet iced tea waiting for her when she dismounts.
She’s going to tell us how she got in mind to write HOW TO MARRY A COWBOY. I’m sure hoping she’ll share a few secrets because I’m itching to rope one for myself.
Ms Carolyn is toting an autographed copy of the book in her saddlebags. That is if she don’t get ambushed along the trail.
Hightail it over to the Junction come Saturday and sit a spell with us.
We’ll have more fun than the law allows!

 

A Kiss is Just a Kiss—Or Is It? (Yay! Book Giveaway)

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A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point. That’s basic spelling that every woman should know. ~Mistinguet

You might wonder why I have kisses on my mind today. The answer is simple and it has something to do with my new release Four Weddings and a Kiss.

There are four novellas in the collection, written by Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton and me. But it’s the fifth story in the book which explains the kiss in the title.

A young minister bemoans having to break up with the woman he loves. She’s simply not suited to be a preacher’s wife. I mean we’re talking a woman who (gasp) plays rounders and sides with the church next door. That’s not all she does; she has also has the nerve to laugh in church!

 

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 I’ll let you find out how that particular story ends by reading the book, but   to get you in the right mood here are some fun facts about—what else?—kissing!

 

 

 

  • Did you know that kissing prevents wrinkles? It’s true. Kissing uses twenty-nine face muscles and all that exercise helps keep your skin firm and smooth.

  • Kissing for one minute burns 26 calories. Hitting the lips for an hour sounds like a whole lot more fun than hitting the gym.

  • The average woman kisses eighty men before she marries (Harrumph. Now they tell me.  I’m how many men short?).

  • On average, a person spends two weeks of their lives kissing. (I know I’ve spent at least the amount time writing about kissing. Hey, it’s harder than you think.)

  • Men who kiss their wives before going to work live on the average five years longer than men who leave slamming doors.

  • Is kissing learned or instinctual? No one really knows for sure.kiss3

  • The film with the most kisses was Don Juan (1926). John Barrymore and Mary Astor shared 127 kisses. Don’t believe me? Count them.

  • Kissing is good for the teeth. All that extra saliva. . . So if you want to save on dental bills, you now know what to do.

  • Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters in the brain as bungee jumping and parachuting. I’ll have to take their word for this because I’m a great believer in keeping my feet grounded.

  • We all know that Xs at the end of a written letter represents kisses. But did you also know that signing a telegram with the numbers 88 was how our ancestors showed love and kisses?

 

Tell us about your first kiss or a favorite movie kiss and you could win a copy of Four Weddings and a You-Know-What!  And don’t forget to enter the drawing below.  We’re giving away a mini iPad.  Just click the picture below.

 Margaret-Brownley.com

 

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