Welcome, Carolyn Brown!

Today Carolyn Brown rides into the Junction to talk about her new book, Cowboy Courage, and the give away of signed copy of the book! Welcome, Carolyn!

Thank you to the fillies here at Petticoats and Pistols for inviting me to prop up my boots here on their front porch for a little while today. Y’all all grab a sweet tea and some cookies and let’s talk about Cowboy Courage, that just hit the shelves a couple of days ago.

When I first started this series, it was going to be three books, and then Emily Baker married the young brother, Justin, who was co-owner of the Longhorn Canyon. She had two brothers, Tag and Hud, back home out in the Texas Panhandle, and they missed their sister, so they bought the ranch next to The Longhorn Canyon. They brought along the Callahan brothers with them to help run their ranch and suddenly the series grew to seven books. Cowboy Courage is Hud’s story and it’s the sixth book in the series. CowboyStrong will be out in June and the series will officially wind up in the fall with a novella about Dixie and Landon, two secondary characters in Cowboy Courage and Cowboy Strong.

That said, let’s talk about Hud and Rose, the hero and heroine of Cowboy Courage. Writing about these two was so much fun that I dragged my feet on the last few chapters. I simply didn’t want to tell them goodbye. They met years ago when Rose went to school out in the panhandle with Hud, but then she moved away, and they never saw each other again. Evidently, first love, even if it does involve two fourteen-year-old kids, is difficult to forget. When they are reunited in Bowie, Texas, the old flame is still burning brightly.

After spending years traveling the world with the military, Rose O’Malley is ready for a change. Heading back to Texas to hold down the fort at her aunt’s bed-and-breakfast will give Rose just the break she needs. But while she may speak seven languages, she can’t repair a leaky sink to save her life. When Hudson Baker strides in like a hero and effortlessly figures out the fix, Rose can’t help wondering if the boy she once crushed on as a kid could now be her saving grace.
Hud has always been rock-solid and dependable-a quintessential cowboy to his core. But the moment Rose steps back into his life, his world is turned upside down by meddling family, a rescued baby, and one highly mischievous cat. Now he’ll have to decide if it’s time to throw caution to the wind and do whatever it takes to convince Rose that by her side is exactly where he wants to stay.

This book includes a first time ever in print novella, Wildflower Ranch, a continuation of Daisies in the Canyon. My readers have asked me for Shiloh and Bonnie’s stories for years. This is Shiloh’s story. Bonnie’s will be included in Cowboy Strong.

What is your favorite? Stand alone stories? Series? If you like series, what do you consider to be too many? Is three a good number or is seven plus a final novella something you’d consider a perfect number?

I will give away a signed copy of Cowboy Courage. Y’all pull up a rocking chair and prop your boots up on the porch rail with me. Got questions? I’ll be dropping by several times throughout the day to answer them!

Woman of Sunlight — Coming Soon

Excerpt

 

A squeak from behind made her jump. It wasn’t the door Mitch and Quill were in, it was the one next down. But it was Mitch standing there, fully dressed, looking at her.

Leaping to her feet, desperately happy to see a face she knew, she rushed the few steps to him and asked, “What are you doing in there?”

“Shh-shh,” Mitch held up a hand as if to push her back. He didn’t touch her but she, who did not know much about reading expressions, quit talking immediately.

“You’ll wake up Ma and Pa.”

Ilsa felt the painful truth of that. Wasn’t she out here in the hall because she didn’t want to do that?

“You can’t be out here in the hallway.” Mitch looked left and right with a line of furrows on his forehead.

“Yes, I can.” She spoke the obvious. “Here I stand, in the hallway.

With a tight, hard shake of his head, Mitch said, “I mean it’s not…um…there are rules for the behavior of young ladies. You’re breaking one of them.”

Ilsa had never had many rules in her life. She remembered how Ma Warden didn’t like her ankles showing. Ma’d said that was a rule. Had her ankles been showing while she sat on that step?

“What rule are you talking about?”

Mitch squinted his eyes at her and she thought maybe, in the dim lantern light of the hallway, she saw his cheeks turn a bit pink.

“Th-the rules about, about how a young woman should—should conduct herself in matters of-of propriety.” Brash, fast-talking Mitch seemed barely able to get the words out. And, unless he had a fever—and she really hoped he didn’t because she’d probably catch it—he seemed to be blushing.

And talking in strange, unfamiliar words.

“What does propriety mean?”

Mitch clapped an open hand over his eyes then dragged the hand down, past his nose, his mouth. “It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you don’t know.”

“That’s not really an answer.”

“I-I’ll explain.” Nodding, Mitch seemed to be forcing words from his mouth. “What I mean is a woman should not be alone. It’s not safe. A man could bother you.”

“You’re bothering me quite a bit right now, so that’s the truth. But I see no point in waking up your ma so she can watch you bother me.”

Mitch’s jaw went tight. Ilsa studied it, wondering what in the world the man was thinking.

“I’d like to bother you, Ilsa.”

“That is still not an answer.”

“Oh, it’s an answer all right. But you’re too innocent to realize it.” Mitch paused. Cleared his throat. Cleared it again. “A young woman who is not married, well, the thing is, if someone saw you out here alone, they might—that is, a woman, if a man came upon her alone in the night and then someone else came along and saw the man and woman alone in the night—”

“You mean alone like the two of us are right now.”

Mitch’s throat moved as if he were swallowing something that wasn’t going down easy.

“Yes, exactly like the two of us are right now. If someone found us alone together in the night, well, people might think we were being…doing…that is…” Mitch fell silent as if he just could not put his worries into words.

Ilsa leaned close and whispered, “I thought you were sleeping in the same room with your Pa?”

Mitch shook his head and started talking again, so it was good she changed the subject. “After you and Ma went to bed, I went down and asked if there was another room empty.”

He leaned closer and whispered so quietly she was almost reading words shaped silently by his lips. “Pa snorts like a cave of grizzly bears.”

Ilsa straightened away from Mitch and giggled. She slapped her hand over her mouth but the laughter was there, just muffled. Mitch’s eyes gleamed as if he wanted to laugh himself.

“Ma, too, as I recall,” he said.

Ilsa nodded from behind her hand just as the door next to Mitch, not the one Quill was in, clicked open.

 

Grabbing her wrist, Mitch yanked her into the room and shut the door swiftly and silently and pressed her back to the door.

“What—”

Mitch clapped his hand over her mouth this time. Heavy boots walked past Mitch’s door. Mitch looked at the floor, his eyes unfocused. Listening to the man walk by.

Ilsa didn’t know exactly what Mitch was trying to say about it not being right for a man and woman to be alone together in the night. But she was very sure if it was wrong to be alone in the hallway, then it was also wrong to be alone in his room.

In the dark of his room, with those footsteps fading, Mitch said quietly, “I lived a life surrounded by people I couldn’t trust. I realize now many of them just told me whatever they thought I wanted to hear because I paid their salary. And I’ll admit I did tend to fire people who disagreed with me because, of course, I thought I was always right. For years, I’ve heard little but yes, sir, right away sir, whatever you think best, sir.”

“That seems nice.” Ilsa rested one hand on his broad chest and patted him because he seemed unhappy with himself. “I wouldn’t mind if you’d start saying yes more often.”

“Oh, I don’t think that’d be wise at all.”       

“Saying yes to me? I am sure I would like it very much.”

“I’d make sure you liked it very much.”

Ilsa wasn’t sure, but the way he said it made her wonder if he was talking about something completely different than she was.

Woman of Sunlight, coming March 2020. Available now for PREORDER

Available now on AMAZON

Carolyn Brown Will Visit on Friday!

Hey everyone, Miss Carolyn Brown will visit us on Friday, January 31, 2020!

We’re going to have a fun time deluxe! 

Miss Carolyn plans to talk about her very popular Longhorn Canyon Series.

No one writes cowboys quite like Miss Carolyn and that’s the truth! 

Her newest is Cowboy Courage and it’s Book #6.

She’s toting a copy to give away so don’t lollygag around.

Get your rears over here on Friday and chat with her a while.

This is your chance to ask questions.

Montana Dad by Jeannie Watt and a Give Away!

I’m so excited that my next book will be out on February 1st, three short days from now!

Montana Dad is the second of my Sweet Home Montana series about the Callahan family, which is part of the wholesome Harlequin Heartwarming line. 

Before I tell you about the story, I want to mention that Harlequin has updated their covers starting this month, and Montana Dad is among the first in the re-brand. I’m thrilled with this cover, which really speaks to the special relationship Nick Callahan has with his two little girls.

Nick Callahan is a widowed dad who recently moved back home to the Callahan ranch so that his daughters will be closer to his mom and sister. Alexandra Ryan has moved across the country to live in her aunt’s isolated house next to the Callahan ranch because she believes she’s being stalked by associates of her former boss, who absconded with a great deal of money. Things come to head when Nick asks for access across her land while his bridge is being repaired. Alex says no, then discovers that the locals don’t take it well when someone messes with their neighbors.

Here is an excerpt:

Alex Ryan climbed out of her car and stalked toward Nick with murder in her eyes. Apparently he had something to answer for, which was odd, because wasn’t he the one getting screwed over in this deal? Wasn’t he the one who quite literally had to traverse ten miles of bad road to get home?

She came to a stop a few feet away and pointed a finger at him. “You had me blackballed at the lumber store.”

“Cooper’s Building Supply?”

“Yes.”

“I didn’t.”

She gave him a puh-leeze look as her green gaze burned into him. “I’ll drive to Missoula to get what I need. And you can enjoy the fact that you’re putting me out, but remember this—petty revenge is bad for the soul.”

“I’ll remember that when I take the ten-mile detour to my ranch.” He folded his arms over his chest and looked down at her. Steam was practically coming out of her ears. “And if I engaged in vengeful behavior, it’d be a lot more creative than having someone blackballed at Cooper’s.” His voice was little more than a growl, but it must have carried, because he heard the wheels of a grocery cart come to an abrupt halt behind him, then start moving again.

“People are looking,” Alex said in a hissing whisper.

“Of course they’re looking. Wouldn’t you?” He glanced over to see Mary Watkins and her three kids staring at them as they loaded their SUV with groceries. And the cart that had stopped so abruptly behind him was being pushed by Lester Granger, who would totally enjoy spreading this tale at the co-op coffee klatch. Nick smiled tightly and raised a hand at his neighbors.

Nothing to see here, folks.

Mary waved back.

When Nick shifted his attention back to Alex, she let out a breath that seemed to come from her toes. “I need to go.”

The expression she’d worn when he’d come to her ranch that first day was back. Half cautious, half defiant. Fully self-protective. What was this woman running from? Was she a criminal? An abused wife on the run? His gaze strayed to her ring finger, which was bare and showed no signs of a ring having been recently removed. Okay, probably not married, but one didn’t need to be married to be abused, and she was as jumpy as he would expect an abuse victim to be. She’d asked him not to judge until he knew her circumstances. Fair enough. Of course, it’d be nice if she explained her circumstances, but he didn’t see that happening anytime soon.

“I’ll talk to Emmie at the building-supply store.”

“I…” She swallowed, obviously not expecting the gesture. “Thank you.” It was as if politeness was so deeply engrained in her that now that her anger had faded, she couldn’t simply get in the car and slam the door like she so obviously wanted to.

“You’re welcome,” he replied. She was there, living on the property he’d wanted, and avoiding her wasn’t going to change the situation. “What did you need at the building supply?”

“A hinge. I’m fostering a dog. I have to have a secure enclosure.”

If you would like to win a copy–print or digital–of the first book in the series A RANCH BETWEEN THEM, just let me know in the comments. I’ll announce a winner on Friday.

How Sweet it Was! Candy in the 1800’s

Many of us who write historical western romance have the occasional scene that takes place in a mercantile or general store. I myself often have a character buy some candy for either themselves or children. But what was that candy like? I mention licorice whips and peppermint sticks in my stories, but what else did they have back in the day? Well, here’s a little history of some of the things we’ve come to love.

Sometime in 1847, a gentleman by the name of Oliver Chase invented the machine for cutting lozenges and the famous Necco Wafer was born. The first branded chewing gum came along (made from tree sap) the following year. Down the road in 1854 Whitman’s chocolates joined the candy crowd. How many of you still buy them today? I occasionally get the itty bitty box at my local drug store. And for those of you into chocolate-covered liquid centered cherries, (yum!) they were invented in 1864 by Cella’s Cherries. Of course, we can’t forget about Richard and George Cadbury. Where would the Cadbury bunny be without them? But before Cadbury bunnies, they were best known for making the first box of Valentine’s chocolates back in 1868. Go, team Cadbury!

Fast forward to 1879 when William H. Thompson comes up with Thompson Chocolate. Okay, so another chocolatier. But he also stated his goal “to make only quality products” and set a new standard.

Then along came candy corn in 1880. Invented by the Wunderle Candy Company, it’s still a best-selling Halloween candy, and will probably still be around for years to come!

Other candy companies began to crop up. Reed’s Candy came along and set up business in Chicago. They invented a yummy butterscotch candy that became known as Reed’s Rolls. Then in 1890, The Piedmont Candy Company was started in Lexington Kentucky. Their claim to fame was Red Bird Peppermint Puffs. Following this came Claus Doscher in 1891. He ventured to France, tried the taffy, then came back to America and offers up French Chews.

And the confection list continues! Quaker City Confectionery Company brought us Good & Plenty candy in 1893. They are the oldest branded retro candy still being sold today. Wow! And of course, we can’t forget Mr. Milton Hershey. He moseyed over to the World’s Columbian Exposition, watched chocolate being made, and thought, hey, I can do that! It wasn’t until 1894 that he came up with the first American candy bar. What he’s best known for, however, wasn’t invented until 1895. The Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar.

Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and Spearmint chewing gum also came out of the 1890s along with Thomas Richardson’s pastel mints and Leo Hirsch Field’s Tootsie Rolls.

What’s your favorite old-time candy? Is there one you haven’t seen for a long while and wish they’d bring it back?

Game Day — the Western TV Trivia Edition

Welcome to the first Game Day of 2020!

Today we’re playing for a $10 Amazon gift certificate. I love trivia, so my game is a 1950/1960’s western television game.

I have five sets of clues. At the end of the clues I ask you to name an actor or a character and perhaps one more bit of information. To play, number your responses from 1 to 5 in your comment and give the answers only.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, so stay turned!

And here we go:

THE CLUES

1) I played a character named Rowdy Yates, who was a ramrod on a cattle drive. Who am I and what it the name of the show?

2) I hosted a year of the popular TV series Death Valley Days in the 1960s, then went on to be elected president of the United States. Who am I?

3) I played the Marshall of Dodge City for 20 year on the longest running TV western. What is my character’s name and what is the show?

4) I rode a pinto horse name Cochise and lived with my father and brothers on a ranch named after a type of pine tree. Who am I and what it the name of our ranch?

5) I’m an actual historic figure and in my TV show I “wore a cane and derby hat”. What is my name?

Feel free to look things up if necessary. I’m looking forward to your answers!

 

Misty M. Beller Has a Winner!

Miss Misty, Thank you so much for coming to talk horses with us. Loved it!

Now, to see who gets the autographed copy of Freedom in the Mountain Wind.

I put all the names in the my ten gallon hat and……….

Christy Malone is the winner!!

I’m doing a happy dance for you, Christy! You’ll love this.

Watch for Misty’s email asking for your snail mail address.

Game Day’s tomorrow, everyone, so come back for fun!

 

Linda Broday Has Winners!

 

Hi Everyone, thank you for coming to read my Tuesday post about colors!

Because I had so many wonderful comments I added an extra book to my giveaway!

Three people will get a copy of The Mail Order Bride’s Secret.

Here are the results……………..

ELAINE HATHAWAY

EDWINA BAILEY BROWN

ANON1001

Yippee! Congratulations, ladies. I’ll contact you for your information.