Prairie Ho! New Historical Western & a Giveaway!

It’s here!

My first full-length historical, a book that I absolutely love, set on the Western frontier and chock full of the sweetness of Little House on the Prairie, the romance of When Calls the Heart and the yearning of Love Comes Softly

But with the Ruthy-twist of tongue-in-cheek humor, women’s rights and the rise of women not as helpers in settling the West, but as full-fledged partners who came to win rights to vote, hold property and bear the rights and privileges of the time long after they should have.

 

Settling the frontier wasn’t easy. The lure of free land brought a lot of people west. First in wagons, following the Oregon trail and sometimes veering off and seeking settlements along the way.

Or dying.

It was not for the faint of heart and if you had the misfortune to die in a rocky area, well… you got buried under rocks because there was no way to dig rock, right? 🙁 But there were other parts of the country that were more inviting and user-friendly. 

This story parallels the settling of eastern South Dakota, in the area of DeSmet where the Ingalls family settled when Pa worked for the railroad and helped bring the railroad to the area.  

Western settlement was rugged. A host of things blocked people from comfortably making a living off their free land. Blizzards, dugouts, soddies, wooden claim shacks (the coldest of the three!!!), droughts, grasshoppers, fires, thick sod grass, unreliable railroad, lack of food, lack of supplies… You were required to live on the claim for six months of the year and develop the land annually.

 

Some folks thought that once the railroad came through, things would get easier.

Well, they could have but it wasn’t as if the railroad was able to run 12 months of the year and getting supplies into the west through impassable rails meant people went without. On top of that, there was little to provide fuel on the prairie…. it was fairly treeless except in creek bottoms where cottonwoods stretched long, leggy roots to drain excess water. Buffalo chips provided some fuel, but the bison herds didn’t last long. 🙁 

Hay twists burned quickly without much heat.

When the railroad brought coal to the west, people cheered. Finally a commodity that allowed them to stay warm through the brutal months of a South Dakota winter!

Except when the trains couldn’t get through, there was no fuel. No goods. Nothing to stock the shelves of the claim shack or the mercantile.

So the train brought a false sense of security and a lesson: To thy own self be true.

Take care of yourself.

Avoid dependence.

Blaze a path.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

And use fuel sparingly. Better a sweater in November than frostbite in March. Use it up, wear it out, make it last.

This story winds its way around your heart. In a very Darcy-like fashion, Seb Ward finds a five-year-old boy on his doorstep, a gift from his father and now the thirty-something proud and private businessman must figure out what to do with his illegitimate brother… The secret must be kept, too many people in South Dakota know Ward’s lumber family in Minnesota and Seb wants to spare his mother and sisters the embarrassment of his father’s misdeeds. But the sudden appearance of a child raises eyebrows, suspicions and gets tongues wagging, doesn’t it? And when the man in question stays close-mouthed but begins arranging for a house and schooling and ordering little boy clothing, well– it’s pretty clear that there’s been some monkey business going on somewhere.

Rachel Eichas’s father was a stern, dispassionate man who raised his four children in a similar home. He drained the joy out of two women, and he’d have done the same to his kids except he died…. Oh, dear! … and now Levi, Rachel, Miriam and Esther have a chance to embrace a different kind of life. Different thoughts. Different modes!

 

And to be part of the town their father eschewed… except for the money-making wagon business he developed with Levi.

This is a time of discovery for the Eichas women. A time of venture, a time of challenge and choice and when Rachel is offered the job of schoolmistress after a rather rough school year, many doubt her capabilities.

Not Rachel.

She knows she was born to teach. Called to teach. But when she’s attracted to the good-looking lumber man who suddenly has a little boy who looks just like him, she regrets her lack of experience around men.

And when her attraction threatens the job she’s longed for, can she see beyond the obvious to the heart and soul of the people she loves?

Small towns do love to talk, but every now and again, that same small town would do well to sit back and listen…. and maybe they’ll do just that in Second Chance, South Dakota!

Gossip and loose talk are dangerous entities…. have you had a bad experience with either? Leave a comment below and I’ll tuck your name into the prairie pot for a Kindle version of this beautiful new story!

Julie Benson’s Winner

 

The winner of the owl scarf and Family Ties giveaway is. . .

Janine

Congratulations!

I will contact you at the email

address you left concerning getting your giveaway.

Again, congratulations Janine, and thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat. I’ll leave you with one final bit of cowboy wisdom. “Never give the devil a ride. He will always want the reins.”

                               Julie

Author Tina Radcliffe Returns on Friday!

Yee-Haw! Miss Tina Radcliffe will visit the Junction on Friday, March 1, 2019!

Miss Tina is going to pick your brain about series book and what you think of them. She has a bunch of questions so be thinking about that.

And oh my goodness! She’s toting tons of giveaways!

Remember, to get your name in the pot, head over and join the conversation.

It’ll be great fun and you might win something in the bargain.

We hope to see you here!

 

Never Jump a Barbed Wire Fence Naked

Every generation says growing up is harder for the current one, but the issues I see today’s children dealing with makes my heart ache for them. As I pondered how we as a society start dealing with the problems facing our young people something in my Pinterest feed caught my eye: 

The Cowboy Code

If it’s not yours,

Don’t take it.

If it’s not true,

Don’t say it.

If it’s not right,

Don’t do it.

Something so simple, and yet, so profound. The first part—if it’s not yours, don’t take it—is easy for most of us. We know what stealing is and that it’s wrong. But the other two are tougher. If it’s not true, don’t say it—I don’t lie about someone, but I’ve been known to gossip. Because I’ve come to believe gossip can be as dangerous and damaging as lying, I try to avoid listening to or repeating it. As to the last part of The Cowboy Code—if it’s not right, don’t do it—I think it’s the most complicated. How do we tell what’s right with so many gray areas? For me, if I listen to my gut, it becomes clearer. When I feel that little twinge, I know something isn’t a good decision, and I’m learning to trust that. So far, my gut’s served me well.

Inspired by The Cowboy Code, I searched Pinterest and found other western advice. Maybe because cowboys work with cows and steers—animals known for requiring patience—but what I found has encouraged that very trait in me. I’ve always been a “Lord, give me patience right now” gal. I’ve been quick to honk at drivers who don’t move the minute the light turned green. I’ve fumed at someone taking too long leaving a parking space. But now, I try to be the driver I want on the road with me. When someone allows me to pull out in heavy traffic, I give them the “thanks pardner” wave to acknowledge their kindness, and more importantly, I try to be the person who makes room for others.  

Yup, I’m taking The Cowboy Code and philosophy to heart. I did this hoping to brighten someone else’s day and made a profound difference in my own life. Doing so has helped me slow down, be more patient, and live happier. Maybe that’s The Cowboy Code is a possible answer to some of our problems.

I’ll leave you with another cowboy tip that hopefully makes you smile as it did me. You got it. “Never climb a barbed wire fence naked.” Okay, so maybe they aren’t all diamonds, but you got to admit, it’s solid advice!  

Click here to head to the Petticoats and Pistols Pinterest site and check out more cowboy philosophy inspiration I found.

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment about your favorite cowboy or downhome wisdom to be entered to win the gray and white owl scarf and a copy of Family Ties containing my novel Cowboy in the Making pictured here. 

From Murderer to Lawman — Texas Ranger Captain Arrington

In April, I’m attending an arts workshop, including authors, in Canadian, in the Texas Panhandle. You can’t think about this part of Texas without giving a great deal of thought to one of our pioneers, Captain George Washington Arrington, who was also one of the first Texas Rangers. His ranch is now an historical site with a Bed and Breakfast. I’m hoping to take a tour while we’re there.

“Cap”, as he was known, was not just a lawman, rancher, spy for the Confederacy, and Texas Ranger, but also a murderer.

Arrington was born in Alabama under the name of John C. Orrick, Jr., and at the age of sixteen enlisted in the Confederate Army. But, in 1867 he murdered a businessman in his hometown; and after a while, he moved to Texas and changed his name to Arrington to escape his troubled past. He did many things during his lifetime; worked on the railroad, at a commission house, and farmed in Collin County, Texas, which led him to get hired on to be a drover in cattle drives. That seemingly changed his life.

In 1875 he enlisted in Company E of the newly organized Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers, where he excelled and after only two years was promoted to Captain of Company C because of his accomplishments of tracking down fugitives and outlaws. In 1879, his Company was moved to the Texas Panhandle to investigate depredations at area ranches. He eventually established the first Ranger Camp in the Panhandle.
 
After breaking up a major rustling ring, he left the Rangers and became the sheriff of “the mother city of the Panhandle”, Mobeetie, a wild and woolly town with a reputation for fast gunplay, sporting women and quick-dealing gamblers.

Although, Capt. Arrington had dealt with hostiles and outlaws, and had even murdered a man, he couldn’t deal with card sharks, cattle rustlers and ladies of the evening. But, the best thing about him living in Mobeetie was meeting and marrying Sara Burnette. Out of that union came ten children. The first two were born in the Old Mobeetie Jail, where part of the two-story structure was used as a resident.

After Arrington left his office as Sheriff, he managed the Rocking Chair Ranch, until it was sold to a large conglomerate. Involved in the civic affairs of Canadian and helping to establish their first rural school, Cap purchased his own ranch.
 
The Arrington Ranch Headquarters, which still stands today, is located south of Canadian adjacent to the Washita River. The house was ordered from the Van Tein catalog, delivered by railroad, moved pieces at a time by wagon for the first ten miles, and set up on the prairie in 1919. The building site was well chosen; sweeping vistas offer unobstructed sunsets and sunrises across the grassland.

Captain Arrington was definitely a self-made man of his era, harsh but fair. He was rarely seen without his sidearm, fully aware of the long list of enemies made during his tenure as a lawman. If the Captain wasn’t wearing a six-shooter, he had one within easy reach.
 
In his later years, he suffered from arthritis and made frequent train trips to Mineral Wells for their hot baths. In 1923, on one of these trips, he had a heart attack. He returned to his beloved Canadian where he died on March 31, 1923. He and his wife are both buried in the Old Mobeetie cemetery.


The Arrington Ranch House Lodge is alive and well owned by 5th generation Arrington, who have worked hard to keep Captain George Washington Arrington’s name alive and well in the Texas Panhandle.

Have you ever spent time in an historical home or building? How did it make you feel?

To one reader who leaves me a comment, I will give them an autographed copy of my latest Kasota Spring Romance Out of a Texas Night.
 

It’s Yee-Haw Day!!

Welcome to Yee-Haw Day, the once-a-month day we’ve reserved to share our news with you – all sorts of fun news!

So check out the post below to get the details on the kinds of things that make us go Yee-Haw!!

Pam Crooks

I’ve been asked to kick off a sweet historical romance series, BACHELORS AND BABIES!  Each book will feature a baby left on a bachelor’s doorstep.  My book is TRACE, and it’ll be out in June, 2019.  

Yee-Haw!

 

 

Karen Witemeyer

Cover Reveal – I just received the cover for my Harvey House Brides novella collection that will be releasing in November. I’m loving the updo on the model and the iconic Harvey House uniform. Yee-Haw!

 

Mary Connealy

I’ve got a new book releasing!

 

Penny Scott and John McCall are taken against their will by a shadowy figure looking for evidence they don’t have, both realize they’ve stumbled into something dangerous and complicated. With their friends and family desperately searching for them, Penny and John must make a daring escape.

When they emerge back into the real world, they are confronted with a kidnapper who just won’t stop. They must bring a powerful, ruthless man to justice, even as this city man and country woman fight a very inconvenient attraction to each other.

CHERYL PIERSON

I don’t have any book news this month, but I since it’s February, I wanted to share a picture of our “VALENTINE”–SWEET SEMINOLE SAM!  This is our new little rescue dog we adopted in August after our big boy, Embry, passed on. Sammy came from a shelter in my hometown of Seminole, Oklahoma, so my husband gave him the name–SWEET SEMINOLE SAM (but we just call him Sammy!) I love to use animals in my writing, and I have a feeling this little love bug is going to appear in my next book…someway, somehow!

Below is a picture of him when he first came to live with us at “about” age 6-7 months in his first “very-own” bed.  On the right is a more recent picture taken in January. He is our forever Valentine!

We’re not sure what kind of dog he is–we think part retriever because of his tail and his “tracking skills”–and maybe part Rottweiler because of his face shape–but he can run like the wind and move like greased lightning! So I’m thinking part “some kind” of cattle dog. What do you think? Any ideas? Whatever he is, he is a “love dog” and so special to us!

 

Linda Broday

The cover of my April 29 book, #2 in my Outlaw Bride series!

AMAZON  |  B&N  |  iTunes  

 

Jeannie Watt

I’m heading off the the 30th Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo in two days. It’s a great gathering of working cowboys and cowgirls who compete as teams. I’m very excited, because this is my old stomping grounds and I’m hoping to see a lot of my old friends there. Some may even be competing. I can’t wait!

 

Ruthy Logan Herne

I’ve got two great things to tell you, YEE HAW!!!!! First, on 2/26 (TOMORROW) my brand new full-length historical is releasing, a prairie romance that just makes me smile to think about it!!!! Kindle edition releases this week, and the paperback version will be next week. I’m so excited!!!! Here’s the link to this beautiful historical western prairie romance! 

Sober businessman Seb Ward may have come from a wealthy lumber-baron family in Minnesota, but he knows that appearances can be deceiving, and that his illustrious family is pretty dysfunctional. Being in another state has provided the buffer he sought from his father’s misdeeds, but when a little boy shows up on a train… a little boy who looks enough like Seb to be his own child… Seb’s faced with a dilemma. Raise the boy as his own, or let his mother suffer the embarrassment of “a brother by another mother.” And when the boy takes a shine to the Rachel Eichas, the newly contracted school teacher, Seb can’t help but do the same. But Rachel was raised by an unloving, business-first father and there’s no way she’s looking for those same qualities in a husband. Can she see through Seb’s focus and drive to find the loving man within?

 

 

And then there’s this beautiful cover reveal for my June/July Love Inspired book

 

Nez Perce horse breeder Isaiah Woods can’t believe his only ally in helping a neglected Appaloosa mare is the descendant of his family’s bitter enemy—veterinarian Charlotte Fitzgerald. Despite the feud, Charlotte risks everything to save the horse. But as she falls for Isaiah—and the orphaned niece and nephew in his care—the mare isn’t the only one who needs saving.

 

 

Kit Morgan

Yee-Haw I have a new release coming March 1st! Many of you have been following the Widows of Wildcat Ridge and my second book in this multi-author series, Claire, is coming soon! She’s feisty and lets folks know what she thinks. But when a stranger comes to town and knows her better than she knows herself will she admit he’s right? After all, the man is too good to be true!

 

Join the fun and discover why so many folks are loving this series!

You can find Claire here on Amazon

Margaret Brownley

Here is the cover of my next book, the second in my Haywire Brides series:

His first mistake was marrying her; his second was falling in love….

iTunes

B&N

Amazon

MK McClintock Has a Winner!

Thank you for visiting, M.K! We loved your post written in your character’s name. So fun.

Now for the drawing……………

Some lucky person will get a copy of Wild Montana Winds!

The random winner is……………………

LORI SMANSKI

Woo-Hoo! Congratulations, Lori! 

Keep an eye out for MK’s email and be ready to read a mighty good story.