New Historical Novella Collection!

By Filly Ruth Logan Herne!

First, this is so much fun…. because every now and again I have to do the “To thine own self be true” thing and write a historical something…. Because I am in such admiration and awe of the courage and tenacity these women showed as they moved west and helped settle a rugged, wide open country.

It amazes me. What kind of courage did it take to pack a wagon with whatever it would hold (and still have room for children as needed) and WALK to the west.

Yep, that’s the ticket.

They WALKED to the west.

Imagine that. Imagine that in a time when folks fight in parking lots for the closest spot to park their cars!!!

Or people wheedle into handicapped parking spots, or the wheelchair accessible spots marked by bold yellow stripes…. because they’re only going to be a “minute”…

Soddies and dugouts made the log cabins of the first settlers look LUSH! 🙂 Trees for walls instead of thatch and dirt??? Yes, please!

And think of the people smart enough to cross the Atlantic with a skill… the first millers and grinders and lumberers…. the first people to settle on rivers and creeks strong enough to power equipment with paddle wheels long before we could power it with hyrdroelectric power….

OH MY STARS!!!!!

So this novella trilogy kicks off a three-book series set in the little town of “Second Chance”, South Dakota in the late 1880’s, just as President Harrison grants statehood to North and South Dakota in no particular order because they were constantly bickering…. (that sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?)

Now there’s some shenanigans going on here… Hattie McGillicuddy, the middle-aged seamstress who came west because staying in Boston offended her sensibilities after losing her family to illness and her temper to narrow-minded men… So Hattie moved west with a sewing machine, some cold, hard cash and a great work ethic but when Second Chance falls on hard times (like many start up towns and companies!) a lot of people go back east. Plagues of bugs and locusts, drought and blizzards took their toll… and Hattie realizes that Second Chance needs more folks, plain and simple, and specifically more women. And thus it begins as Hattie and her old friend Jean Ellen pick likely women to come west for a new job with Hattie… and a new life in Second Chance. Cover design and content edit by Beth Jamison, Jamison Editing.

LINK TO THE SEWING SISTERS’ SOCIETY!!!!!

Macy arrives with a secret, a baby boy whose future would be bleak with a single mother. So like Moses’ mother, Macy leaves little Will on the pastor’s porch and pretends to arrive the following day with her secret– and her beloved son– safe and secure. But she never counted on falling in love with the pastor, a man with a secret past of his own. Can they move beyond the pains of the past and trust the good Lord for their future?

Now Nellie comes to town with more than a little flourish! Hounded by the elitists of Pittsburgh and accused of a crime she didn’t commit, Nellie brings an amazing skill with her. She’s got a way with tucks and gathers, and what town doesn’t need more tucks and gathers? And she sees the world through shining eyes and a suffragist’s mindset, a woman who believes that all are created equal so why should men be more equal than women? When she meets up with staid and somewhat stern Levi Eichas, he’s not at all sure what to do… well, except when her pretty gown catches fire in his workshop, and then the only thing to do is to throw dirty foundry water on her fancy layered dress. An ignominious beginning for what could never be a long and abiding love… or does our Nellie turn out to be exactly what Levi needs to shake him out of his dull existence?

And when Ann comes to town, it’s with a broken heart firmly entrenched. She’s angry and grief-stricken and mightily depressed for having lost her husband and two children in a boating accident back in Pennsylvania. She scarcely knows how to breathe, much less do anything else, but when Jean Ellen’s friend needs someone who can turn a nice hem… and Ann does turn very nice hems!… she agrees to take the train west to help an ailing Hattie. And when she realizes the job means turning hems while keeping Sol Eichas’s two small children hale and hearty on the prairie, she’s ready to take the first train back east. But she gave her word, and who but a clueless man would bring two small children west, and think he can work the smithy adjacent to the wagon shop and work a claim and watch two kids? As the children and Sol claim her heart, Ann needs to decide if she’s strong enough to try again, here in Second Chance.

Paperback edition coming soon!!!!!

So these three novellas (which I had originally written a few years ago for anthologies with writer friends like Mary Connealy and Pam Hillman and Julie Lessman) are all in one book now…. and in March they will be joined by my first full-length historical novel “A Most Inconvenient Love”…

Because it seems Levi Eichas has three sisters, all of whom we meet in these novellas… and with their stern and unyielding father now deceased, the three Eichas women will get a chance to shrug off the gray shapeless dresses he had them wear and embrace life as others do, with calicos and prints and maybe even a touch of satin and lace! Once Nellie enters the family, well… all bets are off and color invades the Eichas claims outside of town… color…. and a chance for each woman to shine in her own way.

Cover design: Beth Jamison, Jamison Editing

Rachel’s story releases in March… and then the other sisters over the following year… and to thank you for joining me in this release party, I want to offer two Kindle copies of “The Sewing Sisters’ Society” to two lucky folks. And for extra chances thrown into the water bucket (with no water at the moment!) you can do these two wonderful things:

Let me know that I can include you on my newsletter list (I’d love to, if you’re not already there!) by either emailing me at loganherne@gmail.com or telling me in the comments below. I send them out about every six weeks or so…

And for another chance, hop on over and follow me on Bookbub… Bookbub Link Here!

I’ll gladly throw an extra chance into the water bucket!

Bookbub is lovely. They’ll simply pop you an e-mail anytime I release something new OR when one of my publishers runs a sale… Bookbub lets all of my followers know so no one misses out. It’s a great place to indicate the authors you LOVE so you never miss out on great deals.

And speaking of sales, Book one of my Double S Ranch series is ON SALE RIGHT NOW for $1.99 on Amazon for Kindle! Great book, great reviews, a wonderful beginning to a bestselling cowboy series!

Link to “Back in the Saddle”!

www.ruthloganherne.comIt’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
 
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why. 

 

Tracy Garrett Returns to Visit!

We welcome back former Filly Tracy Garrett on Friday, February 1, 2019!

Miss Tracy has teamed up with the authors of the Widows of Wildcat Ridge series and she’ll talk about the stage lines of Wells Fargo.

She’s toting a book to give away! Either print or ebook.

Isn’t this cover beautiful! I love it.

Rise and shine on Friday and head over. Get your name in the drawing.

We’d love to see you!

 

It Takes A Strong Woman

A dear friend, Jennifer Jacobson sent me a link to an article on a wonderful artist, Felice House. It’s her amazing work you see in this post. Her paintings and Evan Porter’s write up got me thinking more than usual about heroes and heroines.

We all love a strong, confident hero. The phrase alpha male comes to mind. When I started writing, I attended countless workshops on how to create a strong hero. But writing this, I paused and thought for a moment. How many workshops had I taken on how to create a self-assured, strong heroine? I’ve attended a few, though not nearly as many as ones on heroes. That thought led me to realize whether I’m reading a book or writing one, for me, the stronger the hero’s personality, the stronger the heroine must be. She can’t be a wimpy Missy Miss who crumbles under a strong wind or the hero’s stinging retort.

I want a heroine who doesn’t need a man in her life because she’s fine just the way she is, thank you very much. But should she find one, she believes he’s lucky to have her in his life. She has skills she’s proud of and helps the hero as much, often more, than he helps her. She’s not sitting back moping about the obstacles fate has thrown in her path. No, sir. Instead, she tugs on her big girl panties and develops a strategy to overcome her problems. And if the hero is one of those obstacles? He’d better watch out.

Felice House’s painting reminded me of that type of heroine. When House moved from Massachusetts to Texas, like many of us, she fell in love with “western” culture:  the clothes, cowboy boots, music, the whole thing. However, when she watched classic western movies starring actors such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and James Dean, she found women’s portrayal as helpless damsels in distress disturbing. House described the situation as “the empowered and the powerless.” Already familiar with creating work that fought stereotypical women’s images, House set out to re-envision these cowboy heroes with women.

As you can see from House’s paintings, she and her models succeeded in portraying woman every bit as formidable, compelling and fierce as the original actors. To add emphasis, House made the paintings 1.25 times larger than life to ensure these western women towered over people. These paintings portray images of strong, capable women who can handle anything life sends their way.

House’s paintings have inspired a 2019 goal for me—create heroines half as awe-inspiring, assertive, and frankly, badass as the women in Felice House’s paintings. If I can do that, I’ll be more than happy. 

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment about what you think makes a compelling heroine to be entered to win a copy of To Catch A Texas Cowboy. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

To read Evan Porter’s article click here. All images of Felice House’s work are used with permission. To view more of her paintings click here.

 

Tuesday’s Winners!

 

Congratulations to my winners!

An autographed copy of any of one my six Western Historical Romance

Anthologies, goes to …

Caryl

An eMail copy of my newest Kasota Springs Contemporary 

Romance Out of a Texas Night goes to …

Sally

Watch for an email from me later today.  If you want to check out

any of the anthologies available please go to Amazon.com and you’ll find them!

Again, congratulations!

 

Hair Styles of Yesterday and Today!

I’m out in the wine country of California preparing for our first grand’s wedding on Friday.  We’re busy getting all of the last minute things in order and one of the big problems is hair-do’s.  It got me to thinking that the styles of today’s bride and bridal party really aren’t that much different than those of bygone years.  Hairstyles I used to describe women in my western historical romances.

Since I write both western historicals and contemporary romances typically set in the Texas Panhandle women’s day-to-day hairstyles have never been a problem to describe.  Especially since woman on the ranches of today wear their hair very much like they did when this part of the West was settled in the mid-1800’s … either long, over the shoulder styles, sometimes curled, sometime straight, or in braids of some sort.

Chignon Pix 2I thought it’d be fun to look at the different hairstyles of the American women during the 1800’s.

Short Hair with ringlets

For the first fifteen years after the turn of the century, women wore short curls waved on the forehead with their back hair in a simple knot. Some wore top knots; and they used combs, tiaras and coronets for ornaments.  To be honest with you, I had to look up a coronet to see what they look like and found they are a small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring. They differ from a crown in that they will never have arches. They are unlike a tiera because they  completely encircle the head, while a tiara does not. Simply said, a crown is worn by an emperor, empress, king or queen; a coronet by a nobleman or lady.

Cornet Hair AccessoryBetween 1815 and 1840 a woman frequently parted her hair in the middle, smoothed it, and wore ringlets, puffs or loops at the sides.  From the early 1820’s to the early 1830’s they piled their hair progressively higher in the back, culminating in a style dubbed a la giraffe.  Masses of sausage curls (tubelike curls) and ringlets were also popular during this period.

Topknots became smaller and moved to the back of the head beginning in the 1840’s and continued for another fifteen years.  Large coils of hair at the nape of the neck and sometimes held by black or colored silk nets were popular from the 1850’s on.  This chignon is a knot or roll of hair worn at the back of the head and sometimes ornamented with lace, ribbons, jeweled bands, combs, foliage, flowers and strings of pearls; and was very popular in the 1860’s, but worn throughout the century.  As you can see by the picture, they are still popular today.

Between 1865 and 1890, the bun and chigon were moved up on the head with the frontChignon Hair Do hair carried back without any parts.  As it is today, in the 1870’s women’s hair was allowed to cascade down long and full in the back, sometimes in ringlets or hugh loops.  Pompadous were worn, as were hair ornaments. Of interest, the pompadous was popular in the 1950’s by people such as James Dean and Elvis and was known as the Rockabilly Hairdo.  And, of course, today many movie stars and singers wear the style.

Elizabeth Frenchie McCormick 1852-1941From then until the end of the century the most prominent style was the psyche knot, which has the hair pulled back from the forehead and knotted on top.  Small coiffures, pompadours and French twists were worn, as were ornaments.

The more research I did on hairstyles of the 1800’s the more I realized that as I heard all of my life everything sooner or later comes back into style; and hairdos are no exception. 

Since I come from “Big Hair Country” and grew up with it, I have to admit that I still like the style.  Now, what is your favorite hairstyle?

To one lucky commenter, I’d love to send you an autographed copy of your choice of any one of our six anthologies.  To a second reader who leaves a comment, I will send you an eBook of my latest Kasota Spring Contemporary romance Out of a Texas Night.  Thanks to all you all for stopping by and reading my blog.

 

All Good Things…

We’ve all heard the saying, “All good things must come to an end.” While I don’t necessarily believe that’s always true, it’s doubly true today. This is my last post as a regular blogger at Petticoats & Pistols. It’s been great hanging out with these wonderful, talented ladies and getting to know a lot of the enthusiastic readers. It’s been fun talking about our shared love of western stories.

This month also marks the release of my final book in my Blue Falls, Texas, series for Harlequin. Since the Western Romance (formerly American Romance) line folded last summer, this one book has been awaiting its day on shelves. Harlequin is releasing Texas Cowboy, Be Mine under their Home on the Ranch program, and I must say it’s a very pretty cover.

Here’s a bit more about the story, which concludes the five stories about the adopted Hartley siblings:

Single mother Angel Hartley has her priorities straight—building her career as a photographer and making sure her young daughter, Julia, will never suffer the pain of being abandoned, a pain Angel herself knows too well. Dating can wait, even though she suddenly can’t stop thinking about Hunter Millbrook, who happens to be the handsomest rancher in Blue Falls, Texas.

Hunter also has a full plate. How can he juggle a relationship with running his family’s ranch and looking after his mother as her memory slips away? He’s just too busy for love…no matter how long he’s had a crush on Angel. But as Hunter begins to suspect, hearts don’t wait for the perfect moment!

What’s not in that blurb is the fact that Angel is Native American, but since she doesn’t know who her birth parents are part of her story is her search for her heritage. I think that’s a basic human instinct, the need to know our origins.

Since this is my last blog, I also would like to mention that the third book in my Once Upon a Western series for Tule Publishing is coming out next month. This is Wes McQueen’s story, the third of the three McQueen brothers, and like the two stories before it it’s loosely inspired by a classic fairy tale–this time Beauty and the Beast with a twist.

Wes McQueen has always been a casual dater, not in any hurry to settle down with one woman. But that begins to change when he meets his new neighbor, Claire Moon. But all Claire wants is to be left alone to make and sell her jewelry, to live away from the eyes of others following a fire that left her scarred. But her resolve to live a solitary existence is shaken every time Wes looks at her and doesn’t seem to even see her scars.

To go out with a bang, I’ll give away three signed copies of Texas Cowboy, Be Mine today. In the story, Angel Hartley undertakes the big task of trying to find her birth parents and her heritage. To be eligible to win, just tell me something big you plan to undertake this year. Me? Because I’ve recently developed a love for Korean dramas and pop music, I’m going to try to start learning Korean. It’s evidently one of the hardest languages for native English speakers to learn, so it’s going to be a challenge.

Finally, thanks for all the support since I’ve been  P&P blogger. Hope to see you all out on the range (in person, on social media, etc.). Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive and fun 2019!

Tanya Hanson Has a Winner!

Thank you for coming back to the Junction, Miss Tanya! Miss you something awful!

Now for the drawing……………..

All the names are in the Stetson all nice and cozy………..

I’m reaching in for one and I pull it out………….

Winner of the ebook Love, Sweet Love is…………

QUILT LADY

Woo-Hoo! I’m doing the happy dance for you, Quilt Lady! 

Miss Tanya will drop you a note so be watching your email!