Bad Women of the West

Sylvia McDaniel’s Website

Welcome Guest – Sylvia McDaniel

As a western writer, I spend a lot of time reading books about the time period. Much has been written about bad men, but what about outlaw or bad women of the west? From the beginning of time women, just like men have gone astray.  In my Lipstick and Lead series, my heroine’s are all bounty hunters.

The idea came from reading a book called The Lady Was A Gambler: True Stories of Notorious Women of the Old West by Chris Enss. The book tells the tales of fifteen women who either gambled or were dealers at the saloons or gambling halls. Interesting reading of how women were used to distract men and help them lose their money.

Another book I’ve found very interesting for research is The Bedside Book of Bad Girls: Outlaw Women of the American West by Michael Rutter. The story about Kate Bender at Benders Bloody Inn was one of the scariest tales I’ve read. It made me think twice about stopping at a hotel for the night.

My latest read is a book called Tough Towns: True Tales from the Gritty Streets of the Old West by Robert Barr Smith. This book is about how ordinary citizens took back their towns from the bad guys who invaded. I haven’t finished this book yet, but so far it’s been interesting reading.

As an author this is where I garner the information for my men and women in my stories. Where I learn about the small towns, the people who lived and worked there. Nonfiction books on the west are invaluable to create your own world.

From the research I’ve done, there were no female bounty hunters in the west. They are a figment of my imagination. But I’ve had so much fun writing my badass girls. I like to write what I call are kick-ass heroines who are in bad situations who find a way to rise to the top. My girls are ordinary women who must overcome a difficult situation and in the process find true love. My heroes are deserving men that fall for the love of a strong woman.

Writing is a tough profession not for the faint of heart, but it’s also fun. I get to spend many hours of the day, playing in the world I create. Below is the blurb from the latest book in my Lipstick and Lead series. After reading The Lady Was A Gambler…I know there will be a seventh book in this series and maybe more…

Lipstick and Lead Series

Defiant — Coming in 2018

If you would like a list of research books I recommend, send me an email at

Sylvia has graciously agreed to give away a signed paperback and an ebook of Decieved. Two books. Two winners! Be sure to leave a comment to get your name in the drawing!

Sylvia McDaniel

USA Today bestselling author Sylvia McDaniel has published more than thirty western historical romance, contemporary romance and even a few sci-fi novels. Known for her sweet, funny, family-oriented romances, Sylvia is the author of The Burnett Brides a historical western series, The Cuvier Widows, a Louisiana historical series, Lipstick and Lead, a western historical series and several short contemporary romances.

Former President of the Dallas Area Romance Authors, a member of the Romance Writers of America®, and a member of Novelists Inc, her novel, A Hero’s Heart was a 1996 Golden Heart Finalist. Several other books have placed or won in the San Antonio Romance Authors Contest, LERA Contest, and she was a Golden Network Finalist.

Married for over twenty years to her best friend, they have one dachshund that reigns Queen Supreme over the house, a new puppy who is challenging the queen and a good-looking, grown son who thinks there’s no place like home. She loves gardening, hiking, shopping, knitting and football (Cowboys and Bronco’s fan), but not necessarily in that order.


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23 thoughts on “Bad Women of the West”

  1. Female bounty hunter, now that is a badass woman. A cowboy that can take her down with Love has to be my kinda man. Very interesting subject matter to work with. Want to read about them gals. Write on. I will read on.

  2. Good morning Sylvia- Great blog. Yes sometimes we forget that their were badass women back then, but I sure there were far more than we realize. I agree with Jerri, a bounty hunter would be one tough lady. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Good morning. Very interesting reading about your research, which happens to be one of my loves too–really digging in, looking for primary sources for whatever is being focused on. I started my own historical project early this past spring and I’m still up to my ears in books but making good progress, I think. Seems we share that love of research even though when I worked in publishing (I’m retired now) I was an editor, not a writer, and I did research when I could make the excuse and the time. Thank you for joining us.

  4. I just might have to check out a few of those books. I love the Wild West history! We also have a dachshund who thinks he rules the roost. Crazy dogs!

  5. Loved your blog. Now I want to read the books you used for research. I’ve never read one of your books and would love the opportunity. A giveaway is an awesome way to find an author to add to my go to authors list. HWR is one of my favorite genres and I just started reading again in November 2016 after decades of not reading. Your two favorite football teams are mine also. The Dallas always come first and when the Broncos make it further than the Cowboys do I root for them.

  6. An interesting post Sylvia. I’ll be reading those research books. Your books sound great. Bounty Women, that sounds awesome. Thanks for your post.

  7. Interesting post we don’t always talk about the women in those books and how they really are. I would say some women are just as bad as men. We have some now that are.

  8. There have always been women who acted in ways that seemed unbecoming for “ladies” and there are certainly “ladies” who have hidden facets. Your story sounds fascinating.

  9. Enjoyed today’s blog. Sometimes a woman can be more re vicious than any man ever dared to be Lol

  10. Here’s another one to read. Evil Obsession- the annie cook story. She was a brothel owner in North Platte Nebraska which in the 1930’s was referred to as Little Chicago. She even had a daughter or 2 work for her.

  11. Fascinating and intriguing. I love the Old West since men were men and women had to be strong and fearless.

  12. Your book and research is impressive. The Wild West was a unique time which tried everyone’s courage and determination.

  13. I don’t know why so many people think women weren’t outlaws or wouldn’t have been bounty hunters. Have they never seen a mother protecting her child? Women have all the strength, grit, perseverance, and courage to pull off just about anything they set their minds to. The true stories of women in the early West that I have read certainly show that they were capable of doing what needed to be done to survive.
    This sounds like it will be a good series.

  14. Woo-Hoo! I love bad girls. Welcome to P&P Sylvia. I hope you enjoy your visit. I love your Lipstick and Lead series. That was a great concept. I’m like Patricia B. Women were a lot more likely to be outlaws than men with their protective instincts and quite capable.

    Wishing you tons of success, girl!

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