While writing my latest release, The Cattleman Meets His Match, I had a wonderful time envisioning how the plains must have looked all those years ago. While many things have changed, many things remain the same. Years ago I had a chance to visit Old Baldy near Lynch, Nebraska, the hill near where Louis and Clark trapped their first prairie dog. There’s something humbling about realizing how much our past and futures are connected by the landscape.
Human nature has remained much the same over the years as well. The Greek tragedies still speak to us because people still feel the same emotions: hate, love, jealousy, rage. Everything. Some things never change.
That’s why writing something as simple as a group of people sitting around a campfire was intriguing. There’s something mesmerizing about fire and flames, stars in the sky, and crickets in the background. I had my characters tell scary stories around the campfire. I heard a lonesome harmonica in the distance…
I suppose people have always sung around the campfire as well. Songs have been vehicles to pass down stories through histories. Would my characters have sung Billy Boy?
Oh where have you been, Billy Boy,
Oh where have you been, charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife,
She’s the joy of my life,
She’s a young thing
And cannot leave her mother
Would they sing about Buffalo Gals:
As I was walking down the street
Down the street, down the street,
A pretty gal I chance to meet
Under the silvery moon.
Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight?
Come out tonight, Come out tonight?
Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight,
And dance by the light of the moon.
Or perhaps The Turkey in the Straw:
As I was a-gwine down the road,
With a tired team and a heavy load,
I crack’d my whip and the leader sprung,
I says day-day to the wagon tongue.
Turkey in the straw, turkey in the hay,
Roll ’em up and twist ’em up a high tuckahaw
And twist ’em up a tune called Turkey in the Straw
Have you ever sat around the campfire and spun a yarn or hummed a ballad? What’s your favorite song?
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Cowboy John Elder needs a replacement crew of cattle hands to drive his longhorns to Kansas—he just never figured they’d be wearing petticoats. Traveling with Moira O’Mara and the orphan girls in her care is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Yet despite Moira’s declaration of independence, the feisty beauty evokes John’s every masculine instinct to protect, defend…marry?
Moira is grateful for John’s help when he rescues her—and she can’t deny that his calm, in-control manner proves comforting. But she is determined not to let anything get in the way of her plans to search for her long-lost brother at journey’s end. However, can John show her a new future—one perfect for them to share?