Would You Give Your Blood to an Outlaw? ~ Pam Crooks

That’s what the heroine in my brand new release must decide. It proves to be quite a dilemma!

For those of you who have read TRACE, Book #1 in the Bachelors and Babies sweet western romance series, you’ll know he finds a baby on his doorstep and is faced with quite a dilemma then, too.

Now his baby is all grown up and has her own book! HARRIETT is Book #1 in the Cupids and Cowboys sweet western romance series, and readers are loving the connection in both books.

 

HARRIETT is set at the turn of the century, a time when great medical advances were being made but still had a long way to go in patient comfort and doctoral knowledge. While she was growing up, Harriett’s parents kept a scandalous secret from her, and she finds out quite unexpectedly what that secret is when a U.S. Marshal and a prestigious doctor all the way from New York show up on her family’s ranch.

As I explain in my note to readers, we writers may have to tweak history a bit to fit our stories now and again. In HARRIETT, the New York physician, Dr. Simon Flexner, is a true historical figure who dedicated his life’s work to pathology. The blood groups were well understood by the turn of the century, and the concept of blood transfusions was not new, either. However, the process of injecting blood from one human to another was lengthy, complicated, and completely dependent on the skill of an entire team of surgeons.

By fast forwarding fifteen years to right before the First World War and the medical knowledge gleaned, I could plunk Dr. Flexner into Harriett’s story and give him the skills he needed to transfuse her blood in a fashion my readers could relate to. By then, Dr. Flexner knew about sterilization and anti-coagulants, as well as how to use needles and blood bottles. Instead of a procedure that normally took two to three hours, Dr. Flexner was able to perform it in a matter of minutes.

Blood Bottles

Much to Harriett’s relief, of course. During her procedure, the reader learns of Dr. Flexner’s skill and Harriett’s courage. Blood transfusions were quite foreign and mostly unheard of. Of course, her family and friends were appalled at what was being asked of her, and well, you’ll have to read the book to see how it all happens!

Harriett, Book #1 in the Cupids & Cowboys Sweet Romance Series

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Are you willing to participate in test trials, like the Covid vaccine? Have you participated in medical research? Have you donated blood or an organ to someone who needed it desperately? Do you trust doctors and their knowledge?

Let’s chat, and I’ll give away TWO ebook copies of HARRIETT! 

Podcast, Anyone? Listen to Mary and Cheryl’s!

A big shout-out to Cheryl Pierson and Mary Connealy for their fascinating interviews with Six Gun Justice!  Would you believe I’ve never heard Cheryl’s voice before? Ha!

 

 

https://www.sixgunjustice.com/2020/07/six-gun-justice-conversationscheryl.html

Cheryl talks about her western background, her start as a published author and how her publishing company, Prairie Rose Publications, came about, as well as her love for the western genre. She’s fluent in the market and has worked with many western authors beyond romance.

 

 

https://www.sixgunjustice.com/2020/05/6gun-justice-conversationsmary-connealy.html

You’ll enjoy hearing how Mary got her start in writing her popular, bestselling books. I just love success stories, and Mary’s is certainly one. 

Grab your ear buds, go for a walk, and indulge yourself with these podcasts!!

I Kinda Want to be a Vet! By Pam Crooks

My husband and I are addicted to veterinary shows. Other than taking our pet dogs to the vet down the street for their yearly check-ups and vaccinations over the years, we’ve had very little interaction with the profession. Besides, living in the city makes the vets around here mostly small animal–cats, dogs, rabbits, etc.–anyway.

So our fascination with vets who treat horses, pull calves from cows, and pluck porcupine quills from inquisitive hunting dogs plunges us into a new world. We get to know the star veterinarian’s staff as if they were favorite characters in a sitcom. We see them get poopy and bloody. We witness surgeries that can be as intricate as one done on any human.

Kinda makes me want to do that, too. Pulling piglets and puppies from their mothers after difficult labors would be incredibly gratifying. Besides, those babies are so cute, right? Veterinarians make a real difference in animals’ lives and that of their owners. Of course, I’m too old to take on a new career like veterinary medicine, but sometimes, I think “What if…?”

Since I have to live vicariously, here are our top two favorite shows:


Heartland Docs DVM on Nat Geo Wild
I was instantly taken with this show as soon as I saw the first advertisement. The stars, Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder have their clinic just a few hours away from where I live. http://www.cedarcountyvet.com They’re young and modern and tend to use more high-tech equipment like ultra-sound machines in the field when treating animals.

Ben and Erin are a loving married couple devoted to each other and their profession. It’s a given Erin will cry when an animal couldn’t be saved despite their best efforts. They’re teaching their two teenage sons to care and treat animals, too. They’re articulate, fun-loving, and so personable, you can’t help but like them immediately!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ve just announced a third season–yee-haw!–and you can bet we’ll watch each one.

 

The Incredible Dr. Pol on Nat Geo Wild

This is the show that got us hooked on veterinary medicine. Dr. Jan Pol is in his 16th season with Nat Geo Wild, and he’s had over 20,000 patients in his career. Like many clinics, it’s a family run operation with his wife, Diane, heading up the office. Their adopted son, Charles, is credited with the idea of featuring his father on a show, and it was such a success, Charles ended up being part of the cast.

Dr. Pol is as old school as Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder are modern. He still uses the old mercury-type of thermometer and his clinic is dated, cluttered, and could use a good sweeping sometimes. Ha! But at 77 years old, he is unflappable, common sense sharp, and his clients love him. He’s not above stripping down to his waist to treat the messiest of animals or clomping around mud-and-manure filled corrals to see to his patients. The man isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon, though admittedly, Charles is a big help in adding strength when pulling calves, or if nothing else, running back and forth to the car for needed supplies.

Dr. Pol is generous in donating his services at fair time. He’s a firm believer that kids need to learn responsibility toward animals at a young age, and it’s so enjoyable seeing him tutor the kids, doing their best to earn that coveted blue ribbon.

Space and time doesn’t allow me to mention two more of our favorite shows. But check them out. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!

 

Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet, also on Nat Geo Wild.

Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet on Animal Planet

Have you ever wished for a different profession?  Do you have talents that aren’t being used? Would you do what you’re doing all over again?

Let’s Chat!

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Depressing News? Let’s LAUGH! ~ Pam Crooks

 

I tell you what. The news these days is a real downer. Between Covid, violent protests, riots, political bickering…it all makes me want to throw the television across the room and hide my electronic devices under the couch cushions.

Enough already!

Sure makes me wish for simpler times when we didn’t have such easy access to social media, endless replays, and too much journalism that is more about the ratings than it is the truth.

We all need to laugh more. Science says it’s good for our mental health. We all know it’s good for the soul, too.

Here are some cowboy funnies that will brighten your day. At least, they did mine!

     The cowboy lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh Amarillo theatre. When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the cowboy, “Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat.”

     The cowboy groaned but didn’t budge.

     The usher became more impatient. “Sir, if you don’t get up from there, I’m going to have to call the manager.”

     The cowboy just groaned.

     The usher marched briskly back up the aisle. In a moment, he returned with the manager. Together, the two of them tried repeatedly to move the cowboy, but with no success. Finally, they summoned the police.

     The cop surveyed the situation briefly then asked, “All right buddy, What’s your name?”

     “Sam,” the cowboy moaned.

     “Where ya from, Sam?”

     With pain in his voice Sam replied…. “The balcony.”

 

 

     Cowboy Joe was telling his fellow cowboys back on the ranch about his first visit to a big-city church.

     “When I got there, they had me park my old truck in the corral,” Joe began.

     “You mean the parking lot,” interrupted Charlie, a more worldly fellow.

     “I walked up the trail to the door,” Joe continued.

     “The sidewalk to the door,” Charlie corrected him.

     “Inside the door, I was met by this dude,” Joe went on.

     “That would be the usher,” Charlie explained.

     “Well, the usher led me down the chute,” Joe said.

     “You mean the aisle,” Charlie said.

     “Then, he led me to a stall and told me to sit there,” Joe continued.

     “Pew,” Charlie retorted.

     “Yeah,” recalled Joe. “That’s what that pretty lady said when I sat down beside her.”

     A cowboy appeared before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

     “Have you ever done anything of particular merit?” St. Peter asked.

    “Well, I can think of one thing,” the cowboy offered. “On a trip to the Big Horn Mountains out in Wyoming, I came upon a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I told them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen. So, I approached the largest and most tattooed biker and smacked him in the face, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, and threw it on the ground. Then I yelled, ‘Now, back off or I’ll beat you all unconscious.”

     Saint Peter was impressed. “When did this happen?”

     “Couple of minutes ago.”

 

The only good reason to ride a bull is to meet a nurse.

 

Nature gave us all something to fall back on, and sooner or later we all land flat on it.

 

Don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoyed finding them!  

Even more, I hope I’ve uplifted your day.  There’s nothing like a cowboy and his humor, that’s for sure!

Does all the bad news drag you down, too?

Do you have a favorite joke or funny story to share?

If not, that’s okay.  Just let me know that you’re smiling, and your day is now brighter, and my day will be brighter, too!

 

My Mother Could Stretch…and Stretch…a Dime! by Pam Crooks

While reading my sister filly, Phyliss Miranda’s, blog last week on being a frugal housewife, I couldn’t help being thrown back into my childhood and remembering all the countless times my own mother had to be frugal while raising babies that kept coming almost every year.  (To read Phyliss’ blog, click “1800’s Frugal Frontier Housewife”.)

Of course, it’s common knowledge most women settling in the west in the 1800’s had a tough life providing meals and clothing for their families, especially if they were homesteaders living remotely. If they couldn’t sew, knit, cook, bake, butcher stock, tend gardens, and so on, their families suffered. Lazy wasn’t an option! Ditto for women living in barely-settled towns, often with only a single mercantile or two to buy groceries and meat, provided they had working husbands or weren’t widows living on meager savings.

And granted, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, most women lived an easier life while they stayed home with the children and their husbands worked. Many women didn’t drive yet, and even if they did, most likely did not have a second car in the household. Families were larger than they are today. Mothers didn’t have the privilege of running to the grocery store every time an ingredient was missing from her pantry. Grocery stores were small, simply stocked, probably located in the neighborhood and vastly different than the super-markets we have today.

My mother was the iconic mother of the time, just as I described above. Fortunately for us kids, she grew up on her family’s farm and was a great cook, seamstress, and a dynamo when it came to having a clean house.

We lived simply, just like the other families on our street. We didn’t know any better, but we always had three square meals a day.

Here are some of the things she cooked for us:

  • Bologna, often sliced and fried. Bought in big chubs wrapped in red paper, bologna filled our bellies for years. Sometimes, mom would grate the bologna, add a few ingredients, and call it ham salad.
  • Sliced hot dogs. She’d split them in half and fry. Probably a substitute for bologna. If she kept the hot dog whole, I don’t recall her using a hot dog bun until years later. We’d use a slice of bread instead. Hot dog buns were available since the early part of the century, but no doubt she considered the bun an extravagance.
  • Jonathan apples. I barely remember any other fruit in the house but them, bought by the bagful. It was her go-to-snack for us kids. I remember the Jonathans as mushy (and yes, I know they make wonderful pies and crisp!) but to this day, I won’t eat one.  Red Delicious was expensive and purchased only for special occasions, and there weren’t the varieties we have today.
  • Cream of Wheat. I never liked the grainy texture of Cream of Wheat or Coco Wheats, but it sure stuck to our ribs and made for a cheap breakfast. Growing up, I put oatmeal in the same category, but I do like oatmeal now, as long as it’s loaded with nuts, raisins, cinnamon, and milk, none of which, of course, WE had back then!
  • Mayonnaise sandwiches. Except she never bought mayo, but Miracle Whip. Occasionally, we’d have lunch meat (see bologna above), but I loved mayonnaise sandwiches, always on Wonder Bread. At school, we didn’t have cafeterias, chairs or tables to eat lunch.  We sat on the church parking lot, on hard concrete, and never thought twice about it.
  • Powdered milk. Oh, we hated that! She’d try to sneak it on us kids, but we always knew. She’d stretch the powder by using less, which resulted in watery looking milk. Occasionally, she’d mix real milk in, which I suppose helped, but us kids always knew.
  • Chicken fryers. She never bought chicken pieces, which were more expensive, so farm girl that she was, she’d cut up whole chickens herself.  I can’t even count the number of Sundays we had fried chicken for dinner.
  • Jell-O. Who among you didn’t have Jell-O made as salads with shredded carrots and chopped celery, fruit cocktail, or canned pears? 
  • “Eat bread with it.” One of her favorite strategies to stretch the main course.
  • Spaghetti sauce. She never used canned or fresh tomatoes, but used tomato paste and water with the perfect amount of Italian seasonings. My mother’s spaghetti and meatballs (or featherbones) were family favorites, and even my Italian grandmother would have to agree my mother’s sauce was delicious!
  • Velveeta cheese. We never had cheddar, colby, Provolone, or anything like that. Always Velveeta, which we loved. Very versatile and back then, much cheaper than it is today.
  • Graham crackers and leftover frosting. If she made a cake and there was extra frosting, into graham crackers it would go, and it was a favorite cookie of ours.  I made these many times myself, and now my daughters do, too.
  • Kool-Aid. I think sugar must’ve been fairly cheap back then, because we had a lot of Kool-Aid, the powder in a package kind. Never soda pop or even lemonade.
  • Wax paper. She would wrap our sandwiches for school lunches in a sheet of wax paper like a present. Later, wax paper came in sandwich sized sacks that you had to fold at the top. Plastic baggies didn’t come for years later, but even if they were available, she would’ve considered them extravagant.

 

 

Oh, I could go on and on.  I’m sure you have memories of how you or your mom was frugal decades ago, or even now. How did she save pennies? What was your favorite frugal food?

Let’s chat!

 

Spread Love, Not Germs! by Pam Crooks

As a romance writer, I’m all for happy endings. They bring my readers joy. They bring ME joy. The world is full of news that is often times depressing, out of our control, and brings too much sadness and worry.

Now is one of those times. I don’t need to remind anyone of the sacrifices our healthcare workers and first responders make every hour of every day, even when there’s not a deadly virus intruding into our lives, throwing us into a tailspin, sickening loved ones, to say nothing of our turning our economy upside down and inside out…

But where’s there’s bad news, there’s good news, too. We just have to look for it. Or make our own.  

Here’s a few examples:

My grandchildren drew us heartwarming messages and made birdies in spring nests that I taped to my living room wall.  I see these a gazillion times a day, and my heart squeezes every time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandchildren made twenty or so of these uplifting messages, and we taped them to light poles in our neighborhood.  They’ll give joy, uplift spirits, and bring smiles to the dog-walkers and families strolling by.  We even made the local news with these messages!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My young granddaughters decorated our sidewalk and driveway with Easter drawings and even a few of themselves (traced by their mother!). They made me smile.

 

I’m on a 3-book deadline, so alas, I couldn’t spare the time to make masks, but two of my daughters did. They made dozens and donated them to family as well as took them to a drop-off fabric shop who handled the distribution.  Who would’ve thought???

And then there are the teddy bear scavenger hunts, reverse parades, serenading from balconies, drive-by birthdays, and on and on.

There are SO MANY good things happening during these uncertain times. Unfortunately,  when we are worried and afraid, we overlook the many ways we can be happy.  But truly, we will have our happy ending soon. Just keep looking forward.

This, too, will pass.

My brother sent me this, and I just had to share. I’m sure it’ll make you smile, just as it made me!

 

 

During these self-isolating times, what have you done that has made others happy? 

What have others done for you that made you feel loved and happy? 

Did you see something online that cheered you up?

Let’s talk happy and cheerful and LOVE! You’ll be eligible for a set of my single-title romances, happy endings guaranteed!

 

http://amzn.to/2TPWiJg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 1 – C Bar C Series                                                                         Book 2 – C Bar C Series

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