Although the Texas Panhandle was founded in 1875 when the town of Mobeetie was settled, Kasota Spring, Texas, didn’t come along until 2008. Yes, 2008! But in our minds, it was established in 1890 when our anthology Give Me a Cowboy, written by Linda and me, along with two other Amarillo authors, DeWanna Pace and Jodi Thomas, came to fruition. It is the second of the six anthologies written for Kensington by the four of us.
Since we decided to write all of our stories over the 4th of July rodeo weekend in 1890, we had some logistics to work out. It also gave us the opportunity for Linda and me to write our stories with a heroine mother and daughter team, who were founders of Kasota Springs and lived on the same ranch. The name came from one of Tempest’s five deceased husbands who won the ranch in a poker game with four jacks … thus the Jacks Bluff Ranch. The two women were as different as night and day. The feisty, fun loving; yet, prime and proper Tempest LeDoux had one issue after another with her confident, sassy daughter Alaine Claire LeDoux, who would prefer to wear boots and shoot like Annie Oakley.
I don’t know about you, but I think the picture I posted is definitely Tempest LeDoux and her daughter, Alaine. The second picture (of the couple) I totally believe is Teg Tegler, the ranch foreman of The Jacks Bluff and Edwinna Dewey, who is Tempest’s aunt. They came up to Linda and me at the Cowboy Symposium a few years ago and I couldn’t believe how much they reminded me of the way I imagined Teg and Edwinna. They asked that their book be autographed to the two characters.
The last of the anthologies A Texas Christmas took place over several snowy days in Kasota Springs. That’s where you’ll meet a lot of our characters who reappear five or six generations later in my contemporary romances. There’s Randall Humphrey who is the blacksmith and made the belfry for the new church bell that Tess Whitgrove and Sloan Sullivan have brought to town. The town gossip, Edwinna Dewey reappears. This anthology has been released for the last two holiday seasons, so we’re hoping it’ll be released again this year.
The Jacks Bluff and Edwinna appear in my first small town contemporary The Troubled Texan where hunky sheriff Donovan “Deuce” Cowan almost arrests Rainey Michaels before he realizes they went to school together in Denton, Texas. She’s an LA ADA and is on the run from a murderer she prosecuted…a lunatic who promised to kill her. Deuce has to protect Rainey, although he knows she has lots of secrets. Small-town Texas isn’t big enough for both of them…or is it just right? You will also meet Sylvie Dewey who works for Rainey. Sylvie has a mysterious back story with a lot of hidden family secrets. She’s always let men use her and in her own book (planned to be book 4) things do not change in that regard.
Now for the fun, the second Kasota Spring Romance Into the Texas Night is full of fifth and six generation of the founders. Avery Danielle Humphrey is the daughter of Mayor Humphrey and her mother is a Sullivan. Deuce Cowan and his deputies from The Troubled Texan remain an important part of this story, but there are new deputies coming to town. You will get to know Mesa LeDoux and her grandmother Johnson from the Jacks Bluff. Granny is getting older and has to cut back on being a full time rough stock contractor. Mesa’s interest has turned to horse rescue. Deuce talks Brody VanZant, an undercover deputy, to come out of hiding and work for Bonita County full time. He agrees and not to soon either. Danielle’s father pressures her to move back to Kasota Springs after her partner is killed while on duty and she can’t get over it. The problem, she isn’t sure she can come back to the only job she knows … being a lawman, which she tries to keep a secret!
Kasota Springs, in many ways, hasn’t changed an iota since our first anthology in 1887 but it’s more modernized but is based around the same founding families with some new characters showing up.
I had my choice of two of my own family stories, but thought I’d bring you all up to date with what’s been going on in Kasota Springs over the last century and a quarter. My stories were dull and I would have had to make up parts…most parts. My maternal grandmother Womack was raised on a southern plantation in Louisiana and married my grandfather Johnson who came from a large family, including a grandmother who was a Blackfoot Princess. He worked building the railroad. We didn’t ask personal questions when they were alive, but I’m wondering how they got together. I know the plantation is true and the town “Womack, Louisiana” is still on the map. But one day, I’m writing their stories the way I wish they had gotten together. Do you have any family stories you don’t know enough about but wish you did?
To two lucky readers, I’ll give away an autographed copy
Of your choice of an eBook or trade back of
The Troubled Texan