Gunsmoke and Lace and a Giveaway!

Today is going to be a very busy day for me. I’m going to West Texas A&M University to film a segment for PBS. It’s for a show called 24 Frames. It’s exciting but very scary. I hope I don’t mess up too bad. The segment will air in September. I’ll have more on that later. I may not get to all the comments right away.

But today I want to tell you about my short story collection that I’ve self-published. Gunsmoke and Lace is my first attempt to put something out myself and I found nothing about the process easy. I was supposed to have the ebook and print releasing simultaneously but it didn’t work that way. After two weeks, only the ebook is up. The print should be along soon I’m told.

I have four stories in this collection: The Telegraph Tree, Moon Dog Night, The Gunslinger, and Hard Luck.

The inspiration for The Telegraph Tree came after I attended a lecture about women who came West and the challenges at West Texas A&M University. The speaker quoted statistics about the number of women who committed suicide, unable to handle the constant hardships and loneliness. The women spent most of their time alone in the empty, vast space with their children (if they had any) and not having anyone to talk to broke their spirits until there was nothing left.

Listening to that reminded me of a Sam Elliott movie called Conagher that he made with his wife Katherine Ross. To combat her loneliness, she wrote poems and tied them to tumbleweeds. Maybe you remember it.

That’s where The Telegraph Tree was born and when I finished, I entered it in several writing contests. It placed 3rd in Women Writing the West and also in Wyoming Writers, Inc.

I wrote The Gunslinger (formerly The Widow’s Heart) for an anthology for Cheryl Pierson at Prairie Rose and was real proud how it turned out. I made a few changes to it though.

Moon Dog Night is about two children who ride into a bounty hunter’s camp on a cold winter night. They’re trailing the man who took their mama and they’re determined to get her back. Of course, Bonner Raine can’t let them go alone. But will they arrive in time to save her?

Hard Luck has a lot of humor as two cowboys try to rob a bank. Absolutely nothing goes right and I’ve saved a surprise at the last.

All these stories sprang from a deep well inside me and I think it’s time to share them.

The fabulous Charlene Raddon designed this gorgeous cover and I love everything about it. She’s so creative. The fantastic Jerri Lynn Hill did the editing and she’s an amazing woman. Jeri Walker formatted it. I couldn’t have succeeded without these ladies.

Gunsmoke and Lace is available everywhere online. But here are a few links:

AMAZON  |  B&N  |  iBooks  |  KOBO


My question for you is if you lived back in the 1800s in a desolate place, what would you have done to keep your sanity? Or would you have given in to despair?

I’m giving away a copy of Gunsmoke and Lace to three people who comment. If you’re willing to wait a few days for print, I’ll offer both formats.

Later this month, I’ll have a giveaway for my upcoming To Catch a Texas Star (July 3rd release.)

So don’t go anywhere. There’s more to come!

Website | + posts

Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

73 thoughts on “Gunsmoke and Lace and a Giveaway!”

  1. Oh, Linda, you are so sweet. I am so flattered by your comment. It was my honor to review your stories. I got first look that way.
    My sanity is always in question even now. If I had animals, then I think I could get along for quite some time. I talk to our dogs all the time. They do know how to communicate. At least, they have me trained to their desires. The rough life of the times would wear on me since I am so spoiled to plumbing and electricity. And air conditioning is a must here in Texas.
    You will be fantastic in the interview!
    I hope to be able to get the PBS show. Search came up empty for my DIRECTV.

    • Good morning, Jerri…..You are amazing and wonderful and I’m so happy you worked with me on this collection. Couldn’t have done it without your expertise. Yeah, I think I would’ve gone batty back then. There was nothing to look forward to when you climbed out of bed except work and more work. I’m sure those women wondered what would try them each day. They were tried at every turn. Women had it much harder than men. They craved just a bit of softness but rarely got it.

      Never fear about the PBS show. I’ll ask if they’ll give me a video of my portion and I’ll put it on YouTube. Love you, pretty lady!

  2. Linda- you go knock them off their feet today. You’ll be amazing. I loved this book and I’m was so thrilled when I saw my sweet cousins name in your book as helping edit this book. Way to go Jerri Lynn.
    I think to keep my sanity in a desolate place I’d need my faith. Through Jesus all thing are possible. As much as I love to read, if I had my bible then I could read to help keep sane.
    Have fun today and just be yourself and you’ll do great. Love you.

    • Good morning, Tonya……Thank you for liking these stories that came from my heart. I’m happy to share them with readers now. You know, reading the Bible was exactly what some (maybe most) women did. That and knitting. It would’ve been extremely trying to face that emptiness day after day. But what about women who worked in saloons or worse places? They faced every more despair because a good portion was trapped in that life. And they wouldn’t have had a Bible.

      I love you dearly, sister friend!

  3. Oh gosh!! For me to live in a desolate place back in the 1800’s, I don’t know what I would have done with myself all day!!! Now I just make flowers and craft and drive my Amish man around to his work sites, and I love it but if I did not have the ability to do that I really don’t know what I would do with myself. Probably clean. Lol

    • Good morning, Dale……You probably would’ve had a spotless house! LOL I think with your creativity, you would’ve found something to make to keep you busy. You wouldn’t have just sat. I can’t see that. I think women welcomed having babies just for someone to talk to even if the baby couldn’t talk back for a while. And babies would offer companionship. A cuddly soft body would’ve saved a woman’s sanity. Have a blessed day!

      Love and hugs!

  4. Ooh and I wanted to say… OOH MY GOSH!!! I am so incredibly proud of you!!! Lady, you had a dream and you went out there and made it happen!! YOU. ARE. AMAZING.

  5. Linda
    I think I would keep my sanity by working the land and walking
    I would probably tend to the animal such as horses and chickens

    • Good morning, Cheryl Lucas……..You know, I can see you doing that. Your love of the land and animals would give you a reason to get out of bed and get moving. With someone other than yourself to tend to, suicide would be less likely. You wouldn’t want the animals to starve.

      Have a blessed day. Love you!

  6. Oh my if I lived back then in a desolate place all alone I would have had to journal and write anything I could think of to fill the time. Of course, that would be when I wasn’t fixing things around my home and land, crocheting,quilting, an occasional book when available or sewing my own clothes and clothes to sale. I need a way to buy staples, paper and ink, material and thread, yarn as well as the occasional splurge I know me and if I was out working around my place I’d be tearing my clothes all the time. I would be wearing mens clothes when I was out working though since there would have been no reason to have to wear my dresses and petticoats in the middle of no where.

    I’d absolutely love to have a copy of the book autographed to add to my collection! Love you sweet lady and prayers for you for your adventure today! You’ll be simply marvelous!

    • Good morning, Stephanie……You’re one determined lady! You would definitely not sit twiddling your thumbs. You’d be moving, working, doing whatever you could. I think a lot of women back then did turn to journaling and the writings that survived are so interesting to read. You might’ve been tying notes to trees like Maura did in The Telegraph Tree. Women did a lot of knitting and sewing back then. As you mentioned, everything would wear out with constant work.

      Much love and hugs!

  7. I will be honest and say probably gave into despair as I’m one I can’t take being closed in and the heartbreak of losing so many loved ones. I read all yours and other authors books about all the earlier pain and suffering from the 1800’s , the women that survived were amazingly strongest of all. I really do like your idea The Telegraph Tree ( can’t wait to read) as I never heard of the movie but love the idea!!

    I would love to win an autograph copy of Gunsmoke and Lace, as through your books I love learning how our ladies of the west survived the way of the land and the hearts of their hero !

    • Good morning, Rose Ann…….You might’ve found a strength you didn’t know you had under those circumstances. Life was sure hard though and it took a big toll on women. Your name is in the drawing for a copy, my dear.

      Blessings and hugs!

  8. I’m sure life wasnt easy in the 1800. Women where so much stronger back then. The Bible was their Sanity.

    • Good morning, Yvonne…..Thanks for coming. I’m sure the Bible did keep many women from going over the edge. They had to have some break from work, work, and more work.

      Have a blessed day. Love and hugs!

  9. I don’t know how they did it. But then I don’t know how they did anything, which is why I WRITE Western: I answer my own questions! My first contracted book is an Oregon Trail romance and that would send a lot of women right over the edge, it depends on how tough they were to begin with. My heroine and secondary heroine have faith, and at times that’s all they’ve got, but it is Enough.
    One of the best depictions of what the West can do to a woman is in Lauraine Snelling’s first book in the Red River series, when Ingeborg and Kaaren lose their husbands in the Dakota Territory. The two young Norwegian widows have to survive a terrifying winter on the prairie, and Ingeborg suffers a plunging depression. Only her faith gets her through. Snelling does a powerful job of showing the isolation and other challenges.
    We will never know all their stories, but we can imagine.
    Kathy Bailey

    • Good morning, Kathy…….Through stories we can get a picture of what life must’ve been like and what trials the settlers faced. Traveling along the Oregon Trail would’ve presented a new set of challenges and ordeals. I’m sure a good many turned back or plopped down somewhere and stayed. It would’ve taken tremendous strength and courage. I’ll have to look for your books. Congrats!

      Have a blessed day!

  10. I love Conagher. Both the book and the movie. Evie is a strong, self-reliant woman. I’d hope I would have been like her.

    • Good morning, Alisa……Conagher was a great movie and I especially loved Katherine Ross’s acting in it. The director really captured the loneliness of the West and the trials it presented. I may have to watch it again too.

      Love and hugs!

  11. I would talk to God and my animals to keep my sanity. And probably the plants in my garden and the trees.
    I need to read Conagher again. It’s been way too many years since the last time I read it.
    I’m not exactly a rock hound but I like to make necklaces out of natural stones. I just started dabbling in learning the names and properties of different rocks when family obligations came along and it’s been on a back burner. Hope to get back to it one of these days.
    All four of your stories from Gunsmoke and Lace sound exciting. They are on my must read list.

    • Good afternoon, Janie…..I’m sorry I had to leave. Talking to God brings great comfort to people in need. I do it often and it really helps. How wonderful that you’re a rock hound. I am too and I can’t help it when I’m out walking or visiting somewhere new to pick up rocks. I love anything connected with the earth. They just settle my soul. If you had lived back in the old West, you could’ve made jewelry and things to pass the time and keep the loneliness from creeping in.

      I hope you get a chance to read my stories in this collection. I think you’ll like them. Hugs!

  12. I would definitely relay on my faith in God. Sometimes my own sanity is questionable nowadays but reading keeps somewhat sane Lol

    • Hi, Glenda…….I understand about the void that reading fills. It lets us escape when life presses around us and it brings such peace. I know when I have chaos and trouble all around, such great peace descends on me when I sit down to write.

      Love you, lady!

  13. I am sure you segment will be wonderful. If I was there, I would garden and find something to write on. If another person is with me I would hope to find some games.

    • Hi Debra G…….Thank you, filming went great today and I look forward to seeing the finished product in September. Such nice people. I think gardening and writing would help the loneliness tremendously. I’m sure if you didn’t have any games you could make up your own. That would be fun.

      Blessings and hugs!

  14. Linda, you will do great at your PBS taping, I’m sure! I can’t wait to read these short stories of yours. I love the premise of all of these! I don’t know how I would have occupied my time as a “prairie woman” other than with the kids, household chores, and trying to be sure there were meals on the table. But I’m pretty sure I would have been writing, even back during that time! LOL Great post–looking forward to reading your new collection of stories!

    • Hi Cheryl P……..Thank you. I’m happy to report that everything went well and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product in September. I think you’d do just fine on the frontier. Yes, writing for sure. I can’t imagine you not writing. And oh Lord, such stories to tell with all the interesting people and things around you. I’ll bet you’d have traipsed to an outlaw hideout to interview them. Ha!

      Love you, Filly sister.

    • Hi Pearl…..Thank you for coming. There would be lots of walking I’m sure and if you were lucky enough to have books you would’ve read. The animals would give you lots to do.

      Blessings and hugs!

  15. Neverending chores, hopefully visits with neighbors and reading. Writing letters would occupy me everyday.

    • Hi Anne…….Those neverending chores would get to me. Making soap, candles, washing clothes, ironing, cooking….the men had it so much easier. But hopefully you would have a book or two and writing letters and keeping a journal would occupy some time.

      Blessings and hugs!

  16. Linda I have said lots if times that I think I was born in the wrong century. I love the pioneer days but I know it would have been a hard life.
    I had a little taste of having to carry water from the spring when I would stay with my grandmother. It was a big hill to climb with buckets of water. She also had barrells to collect rainwater to use for bathing and doing laundry. And that would be just “a drop in the bucket” of what the pioneers had to endure.
    But I believe my mainstay would have been my Bible (every family always had a Bible), my faith and Jesus! We can talk to Jesus when we have no one else to talk to!!
    I know you will do great with your interview!!

    • Hi Ruth…….Yes, you already know some of what it was like from hauling that water. Your poor grandmother. I wonder how many trips she made up and down the hill. Reading the Bible was what many, many families did. Thank goodness for that. I’m happy to report that the filming went real well. I’m glad it’s over though.

      Love and hugs!

  17. As long as I had pencil and paper I would not of lost my mind. If you can write anything it is one way to get through the tough times.

    • Hi Kim…….Paper and pencil would surely have helped combat the loneliness. Pouring out your thoughts would’ve eased the emptiness somewhat.

      Blessings and hugs!

  18. Enjoy making the segment! 🙂 As for living in a desolate place, I think I would be alright with a few books and my pets for company.

    • Hi Colleen……I’m happy to report that the filming went well. I’m pleased with how I did. Books were hard to come by back in the 1800s but if you were fortunate to have some they surely would’ve helped. And pets would’ve given you some companionship. Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about it.

      Love and hugs!

  19. Good Afternoon Linda,
    I guess I would be making blankets and making clothes or to busy cooking and cleaning to be bored from what I have read about the old days. But I totally understand where they are coming from I myself spend 99.9% of my time by myself.

    • Hi Charlene…….I think you would’ve done very well. You have your painting and creative projects and sewing. I, too, spend a tremendous amount of time alone but I know I can always get out to stores and visit friends when the walls close in. Which they rarely do. I’m satisfied with my life.

      Love and hugs!

    • Hi Ellie…….It sounds like you would’ve had plenty of peaceful, relaxing things to do. Very good. You know how to entertain yourself. 🙂

      Blessings and hugs!

  20. To keep my sanity, I would have talked to God when I felt the least bit anxious, scared or upset. Prayer helps so very much.

    • Hi Melanie……Prayer does help and that’s what Maura does in my short story The Telegraph Tree. She feels so alone and forsaken and her baby is hungry with nothing to feed her. But the task of trying to keep her baby alive really tests her sanity.

      Blessings and hugs!

  21. I probably would have found a hobby to keep me busy. Or gardening or something to keep me going.

    • Hi Susan P…….I think you would’ve done just fine. The true test would’ve been in the midnight hours when everything was so still with only your heartbeat.

      Blessings and hugs!

  22. I hope your filming went well today and that you enjoyed it.

    Thank you for the intriguing information about Gunsmoke and Lace, and sharing how the stories struck something deep within you. I’m really looking forward to reading those stories.

    As for your question about living in a desolate place… I could be wrong, but I think I’d have a better chance of surviving it than the average bear. Why? I’m an only child and we always lived out in the country so I’ve been on my own from the beginning. I lost my dad at 17 and since then always felt I was even more on my own more often than not. And we (my son and I) live out in the outback now pretty much on our own with no living family members left. So we’re on our own even in the Northeast where most folks would think people live on top of one another! I could be wrong of course but I think I could make it in a deserted area if I had two things: animal companions of some sort (not counting snakes and spiders!!), and something to read (even if only the Bible front to back). Besides, being a genealogist I know I have the genes for lonesome places from my family who came to England with the Angles (Denmark vikings) in 450 AD, and those English colonists (1600s) that immigrated down our Atlantic seaboard and then all across the South into Indian Territory and Texas. So I know darn well I have the traveling genes (or did) so I must have the ones for new places alone too! I’d put money on it!

    • Dearest, Eliza…….Yes, you’ve already had to live alone and would be prepared for the immense loneliness. I’m shocked to see how much we have in common. I recently did the DNA testing with Ancestry and was very surprised to discover that I, too, have Vikings in my DNA. I didn’t know that at all or even guess. And the rest of my people came from England, Ireland, Scotland. The Scandinavian part was 22%. That just still amazes me. My sister’s test didn’t show any Scandinavian. So maybe way back there we’re related somehow. How cool would that be!

      Blessings and big hugs, Viking sister!

  23. Congratulations on the release, Linda. If I were alone like that I would hope I would have access to books. I can tolerate anything if I can read. If no books, I would be making up stories in my head. There likely wouldn’t be paper available to write them down, but I could think them. Just existing would have taken effort. I would be busy with gardening, putting food up, chickens, cows, and making sure there was firewood for cooking and heat. Having children to raise would add to the burden but also lessen it. Putting the energy into raising them would be a nice burden to have.

    • Dearest, Patricia……Thank you for the well wishes! Reading would be my choice too and writing but like you said, there probably wouldn’t have been any paper. Children could be a comfort and give you someone to talk to. You wouldn’t have wanted to commit suicide and leave them all alone so they would’ve grounded you. I pray you’re doing all right. I think about you and hope that you’re getting through the treatments.

      Much love and hugs!

  24. Living alone in a desolate place, could I do it? I honestly don’t know. I am definitely spoiled when it comes to my conveniences but I spend a lot of time alone as it is. I talk to my dog, I talk to the TV, which I could not do then, but mostly, I talk to myself. I want to think that I would be okay if I had a dog and some other animals, my faith in God to keep me strong and keep me from despairing. However, I am the first to admit, I might not make it. It is a very harsh way to live. Now, if I had a husband like one of Linda’s heroes, I am pretty sure I would be just fine. Cannot wait to read this book. But I have no doubt it will be as great as the rest of your books I have read. Love me all of Linda Broday books.

    • Hi Cricket…….It really would’ve been a harsh way to live and many didn’t make it. Yeah you and me both on one of my handsome heroes! No problem at all if we had any of the Legend brothers or Duel and Luke McClain. I do hope you like my stories. Thank you again for all of the goodies you sent for my birthday. I just loved them all, especially the Irish things. And that big calculator really saves my eyes!

      Much love and hugs!

  25. Hi Linda. I did not see that movie so I’ll be sure to look for it. I watch a lot of the Turner Classic Movies channel and of course the western shows on Saturday(Gunsmoke, Rawhide, The Wild Wild West, and whatever is on the marathon. I would stick it out in the 1800’s. I’d do planting to survive and if I can, find some cowboys and horses! I think the hardest would be the modern conveniences like the shower and toilet. Cathie

    • Hi Caffey……Oh my goodness! It’s so good to see you. Thank you for stopping by. If you get a chance, do watch Conagher. I loved seeing Sam and Katherine together. For sure, the modern conveniences would’ve been so hard to do without. But if you’d never had them you wouldn’t know what to miss. Good luck in the drawing!

      Much love and big hugs!

  26. If I was living in a desolate place I would grow a garden if possible. I think I would take up sewing and make something pretty. If I had books I would read in the evenings.

    I love the cover of the book, it’s lovely.

    • Hi Rita……I’m so happy you liked my blog. Thank you for complimenting the cover. I do think it’s gorgeous and it fits me. I love earthy colors. Gardening, sewing and reading would definitely help with the loneliness.

      Love and hugs!

  27. I would try my best to stay calm in this situation & hope for the best I would love to win a paperback

    • Hi Charolette………Thanks for coming. I’m sure I could stay calm for a while but when the emptiness eventually took over, I’m not sure what I’d do. Good luck in the drawing! If you get a chance, I hope you like these stories.

      Blessings and hugs!

  28. God Bless those earlier Pioneers, Those women were who built the West. Strong,brave and determined. I don’t know what I’d do honestly but I would hang on to my faith and pray a lot. Gardening most likely and journaling. Thanks so much for such an informative post.

  29. Linda – If I lived in the 1800’s, I would keep busy with my chores, garden, animals, sewing, cooking & reading… back then was tough on a woman; however, those pioneer women were strong. Thanks, for your blog.

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