Welcome Guest Author Tina Dee!

Today the Fillies are pleased to welcome guest author Tina Dee to the Junction. Tina is here to tell us about her new release and one aspect of her research. She’s also got a fun giveaway in store so read on to learn the details!

Hi, everyone! Thank you to the Petticoats & Pistols blog hosts and to you, sweet readers, for having me here today. I love spending time with you all! For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I write heartwarming historical and contemporary Christian romances with a good deal of humor.

Today, I’m sharing about my upcoming release, For the Love of Penni, which takes place in the late 1800s. This story is about a woman in search of her brother who is slow of learning and became lost in the War Between the States. And now, she is torn between finding him and her new life as a mail-order bride.

One of the things in life that calms Penni’s heart is to pet her favorite hen, Dainty, when chores on the farm are finished. Later, Dainty travels with her onboard a steam train in a homemade cage.

One of the things I had the most fun researching for this story was chickens. Penni’s hen, Dainty, is a Dominique breed. It is said that they are the oldest known breed, being favored by settlers back in the 1750s. They were hardy birds and were important to settlers because they didn’t require a lot of special care.

 

The hen pictured below is actually from the Barred Rock breed but looks very similar to the Dominique—though the Dominique has a ruffled-rose type comb (the place where I get my stock photos only had this chicken breed’s pics available). These Dominiques, and their rose combs, were resistant to frostbite. The hens roamed freely and foraged for their existence. Their feathers were also used for stuffing pillows. I hope to have a few of these one day. Many thanks to thehappychickencoop.com for the fun facts. Do you raise chickens? If you do, share what breed, and what you love about them?

DepositPhotos image ID:55710581 ewastudio

 

More about my story, For the Love of Penni:

 

She’s in search of a family. He has one to offer. Can she be the wife he needs or will her desire to find her brother pull her heart away?

Penni Pembrooke has stopped at nothing to find her long lost brother after the War Between the States. With years of searching behind her, she’s just about given up hope. Now, the home where she resides has become overcrowded. With extended family pressing in on all sides, Penni writes to a mail-order bride agency in hopes of a new life. Meanwhile, she continues to search for her brother who is slow of learning. He still needs her; a war wouldn’t change that.

Connor Callaghan finds himself the father of a brand-new infant. While he’s bringing his orphaned niece and his mother home from Ireland to Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, he learns the mail-order bride he left behind is now married to another.
With a farm to run and more mouths to feed it’s more than he bargained for. Yet, Penni comes as a fresh surprise—but will she make her heart available to him?

For the Love of Penni is a lighthearted, Christian mail-order bride romance and is part of the multi-author Brides of Pelican Rapids series. All books in this historical Christian romance series are stand-alone stories and can be read in any order.

 

For the Love of Penni releases on 9/30/21. It’s currently on pre-order for 99 cents. To pre-order from Amazon click on the image below

 

 

About Tina:

Tina Dee enjoys writing historical and contemporary western romances. She lives on the west coast with her family, including a heard of crazy cats and a bossy little Yorkie named Molly.

She loves coffee and almond croissants. She enjoys campfire cooking, and her favorite seasons are autumn and winter.

 

 

Tina is giving away the adorable towel pictured below. Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing

 

Texas Timber & TEXAS TIMBERS with Caryl McAdoo

Please welcome guest author Caryl McAdoo to Petticoats & Pistols.

My home is The Peaceable, a twenty-acre wooded property about five miles south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County, in far Northeast Texas. This area is sometimes called the “Piney Woods” part of the State. Almost anytime I get out, I pass several lumber businesses, and usually an eighteen-wheeler or three loaded with cut timber as well. (I don’t like to drive behind them!)

As soon as pioneers began to settle Texas, timber proved to be a valuable resource, then right after the Texas Revolution in the spring of 1836, the lumber production increased steadily in the new Republic. By the 1860s, there were reportedly two hundred sawmills in the state. The construction of rails across East Texas ushered in another boom of the Texas timber industry in the 1880s.

From the time my parents brought me to Texas from my California beginnings (a six-month-old in 1950), until March of 2008 when we move to Red River County, I lived in Northwest Dallas and Irving which falls within the Cross Timbers which stretches from Kansas, through Oklahoma, and down as far south as Central Texas.

 

In Texas, the forest regions run in two narrow, parallel strips, separating the Black Prairies in the east from the Grand Prairies in the west, from the Red River to the Brazos where the woods play out.

The average width of the Eastern Cross Timbers, which includes Dallas, is around fifteen miles. The eastern strip’s soil is more fertile than the western, lending not only to larger trees but a wider variety and more dense undergrowth.

In the early days the Cross Timbers was a famous landmark and quite difficult for the settlers to get through due to its density. Besides log cabins and providing firewood, the trees served another important function. They prevented rainwater from running off, letting it soak in for the hundreds of wells pioneers dug!

I lived in these timbers for fifty-eight years, then moved to the piney woods. Is it any wonder that a lot of my stories are set in both? My second family saga is named for them, the Cross Timbers Romance series, and is set in the area along the Delaware Creek (that later became Irving) and downtown Dallas.

 

Book seven just released September 3rd! It’s title? Why, TEXAS TIMBERS!

It’s heroine, Autumn Hope, has had prophetic dreams since she was a child (LEAVING TEXAS, book four), and God has been showing her a man in a dream. She kisses him in the night vision, so figures he must be her husband. The Lord also shows her where he’s working down in the Sulphur River bottoms cutting bois d’arc, too.

She’s deadest on going to find him to convince him she should be his wife. Sean O’Farrell, of course, is a timber man through and through and pretty much thinks she’s crazy.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading the fun story! It’s available HERE

 

GIVEAWAY

I’d love to gift one of my commenters an eBook copy of book one in the Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga, GONE TO TEXAS! Just tell me where you live and what’s special about your area!  I pray you’ll be blessed!

BIO

 Award-winning, Christian author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory. Of her best-selling novels, readers love her historical Christian romance family sagas most, but also enjoy her Christian contemporary romances, Biblical fiction stories, her new mystery series, and tales for young adults and mid-grade booklovers. The far majority of reviewers award her stories five-stars and praise Caryl’s characters, feeling as though they get to know them well.

The prolific writer loves singing the new songs God gives her almost as much as penning new novels—hear a few at YouTube! She’s been married to Ron fifty-three years. They share four children and twenty-one grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

CONTACT LINKS
Amazon – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo?follow=true

Website: http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com

Newsletter: http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1hQx6UZbWi3OYwmKKxh6Q

(Hear Caryl sing her New Songs!)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

 

 

 

Welcome Guest Author Tracy Garrett!

Please welcome our very special guest Tracy Garrett back to Petticoats and Pistols. Tracy will be giving TWO lucky commenters an e-copy of her upcoming release Robbie. Details can be found at the end of her post.

 

 

The Homestead Act of 1862, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, gave adventurous and brave settlers the chance to own land west of the Mississippi River—up to 160 acres each. All they had to do was live on the land and improve it. After five years, the homesteader could file for his or her patent, or deed of title.

 

Chadron, NE State Park

Robbie Hathaway, the hero in my next release, ROBBIE, took advantage of that Act to acquire land in northwest Nebraska, not too far from King’s Ford, where he was raised. The adopted son of Reverend James and Esther Hathaway (JAMES, Book 13, Bachelors and Babies Series), Robbie has always wanted to know who he came from—and why they didn’t want him.

A chance meeting in a saloon in North Platte, Nebraska, sends him to Wyoming, where he finally finds answers—and his future.

 

 

ROBBIE – Coming October 1, 2021

Abandoned

Left on a pastor’s front porch as an infant, Robbie’s arrival made them a family. Though raised in love, the man he’s become needs to know who he came from… And why didn’t they want him anymore? Then a chance meeting sends him to a remote ranch in Wyoming where he finds more than just his past.

Shamed

Exiled for believing the promises of a man and left to piece together a new life for herself and her child, Anna will face challenges she never anticipated. When she falls for the stranger whose arrival brings that carefully built life crashing down, can she trust that this time she chose well?

Chosen

A fatherless child knows exactly who should be her new papa, but can she help her mama believe it, too? A new future awaits them all, if only the three can become a family.

 

 

EXCERPT from ROBBIE

CHAPTER ONE

North Platte, Nebraska, 1901

 

His very first Harvest drive with his own herd was finally over—and never had a September been so long. Robbie Hathaway slapped at the dust on his hat and clothes before stepping into the bank, ducking his head a little to avoid cracking his skull on the frame. He’d done all right for only moving fifty head of R-Cross-H cattle to market. Combining his herd with Douglas Randall’s meant the man had an extra cowhand for the drive, while Robbie had help with his own cattle, a chuckwagon to keep him fed, and the safety that comes in numbers.

As soon as the money from selling his beeves was wired to the bank in King’s Ford, he was going to find food and a bath. “Bath and a shave first,” he decided, scratching at the multi-week growth of beard gracing his chin.

“May I help you, sir?” The man behind the counter kept his expression carefully blank.

“I’d like to see Mr. Thompson, please.”

“He’s very busy. Perhaps I can—”

“No, thanks. I was told to ask for Mr. Thompson.”

“I’ll see if he’s available. If you’ll wait here.”

It wasn’t a request, so Robbie leaned against the counter. Several minutes later, the man returned and pointed him toward an open door at the end of the room.

The manager of the First Bank of North Platte eyed Robbie from behind his ostentatious oak desk, a look of distaste pruning his mouth.

Robbie glanced at the name plate on the desk. “Robbie Hathaway, Mr. Thompson. Douglas Randall recommended you and your bank. I’d like to wire some money to my bank in King’s Ford.” Douglas had said this was the only bank in town that didn’t charge the price of a cow on the hoof to wire money.

The banker’s distaste disappeared behind a smile as he rose and extended a hand. Nothing like a pocket full of cash to garner a money man’s appreciation.

“Of course. It will be my pleasure to be of service.” His eyes lit at the sight of the money. “And please thank Mr. Randall for his trust.”

“You can thank him yourself. He said to tell you he’d be along, just as soon as his sale is complete.” Robbie held out the cash and a small piece of paper. “There’s the information you need.”

“Wonderful. I’ll see to your transaction personally. If you’ll just wait here?”

“Uh, Mr. Thompson, I’d appreciate it if you’d count that money right here. Just to be sure I didn’t make a mistake.”

The banker’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly, but he did as requested. Once they both knew exactly how much money he was wiring, he left Robbie in his office.

Robbie waited more than twenty minutes, fidgeting and fretting the whole time about handing his hard-earned cash to a man he’d just met. But carrying it with him all the way back to King’s Ford would be painting a target on his back, even if he took the train. And Douglas said the bank was reputable.

He’d held back enough to pay for train tickets to Ft. Fetterman, northwest of Douglas, Wyoming for himself and his horse, a couple of hotel rooms and some meals along the way, and some trinkets for his mother and sister. The last thing his father said when he left was, Remember to bring a little something for the women.

With the bank transaction finally completed, Robbie walked to the barber shop and bath house across from the hotel where he’d taken a room. It was the same hotel and same barber Douglas had used for the past twenty plus years and that was enough recommendation for him. Once he was neck deep in a tub full of clean, steaming water, he considered his options for the evening.

A meal at the hotel? Or should he partake of food and everything else on offer at The Rose Saloon and Dance Parlor?

Deciding he wasn’t interested in spending time with one of Madame Rose’s girls, he dressed in the only go-to-church clothes he’d brought along and headed for the hotel restaurant. He’d just been seated when he was hailed.

“Evenin’, Robbie. Mind if we join you?” Douglas walked up to the table with Wyatt Harrison, another rancher who’d made the drive from King’s Ford to North Platte with them.

“Please do.” He caught the eye of the pretty young woman who’d showed him to the table and motioned for two more menus.

Robbie didn’t know Harrison that well, mostly because, unlike Douglas, he hadn’t been pestered by a young boy to teach him how to be a rancher. Robbie had searched Douglas out at every Harvest from the time he was tall enough to climb on a horse on his own. When Douglas realized Robbie was serious about learning, he’d made him an honorary hand and the real training began.

While they enjoyed a steak and all the fixings, the three men chatted about the price of their beeves on the hoof, how easy a trip it had been this year, anything that came to mind. Once they’d washed down their apple pie with coffee, they all sat back with a sigh. “It sure is nice to eat something besides Cookie’s recipes.”

“That’s true. The man is decent at the fire, but his menu is limited.” Douglas declined more coffee. “Harrison and I plan to catch the train back to Wyoming day after tomorrow, if you’d like to join us for the trip back.”

“I appreciate the offer. It doesn’t make sense to stay in town very long. Too many nights sleeping in a real bed might make a man soft.”

They shared a laugh. “Fine then, it’s settled. You got plans for tonight?”

Robbie signaled for their checks. “I thought I might grab a beer at The Rose. Maybe sit down to a couple hands of cards.”

Harrison chuckled. “I sometimes forget you do those things, you being raised by a preacher and all. Mind if we tag along?”

“Suit yourself.” Robbie counted out the money to pay for his meal, adding a little extra for the waitress, then motioned for the two older men to lead the way.

Night had crowded out the daylight while they ate, and Robbie studied the shadows and the people they passed carefully as they strolled along the boardwalk. Lantern light from the few open businesses spotted the scuffed planks with gold. Though no one was supposed to be carrying a gun, he knew better than to assume everyone followed the law.

They passed a duded-up city slicker, wearing a gray striped suit and garish scarlet vest, with a matching hat band on his gray bowler. The man stopped to stare as they passed. With no guns to defend himself, the attention made Robbie itchy. Finally, they stepped up the high threshold into The Rose. “Let’s sit over here.” He motioned to an empty table near the bar.

Douglas called out their order to the bartender then settled in a chair and glanced around the crowded saloon. City folk and cowboys rubbed elbows at the bar and card tables, all eager to spend what they’d earned. “I thought you wanted to join a game.”

“Maybe later.” With their backs to the wall, Robbie could watch the room for a while. Around here it never paid to let down your guard.

The bartender had just dropped off their beers when the city slicker came into the saloon. He hesitated just inside and scanned the room, like he was looking for someone. When his gaze lit on Robbie, a huge grin split his face.

“Well, Clade Newton, you old dog. What are you doing in these parts?” He strode to their table, hand extended, then stopped, stared and let his hand drop. “You’re not Clade Newton.” The man shoved his bowler back with one pale finger. “Well, cover me in honey and call me a bee. You could be his twin brother, I do declare.” He took off his fancy hat and scratched the top of his head with  a single finger. “Who would have thought it? Sorry to bother you, gentlemen.”

Robbie watched him turn to leave. “Wait.” Under the table he flexed long fingers sore from weeks of holding leather reins and chasing cows. “It’s not every day a man hears he has a twin.” He tried for a friendly smile. “Join us?”

 

ROBBIE is available for pre-order HERE.

(QR code for ROBBIE below)

 

If you’d like to read his parents’ story, you can find JAMES right HERE.

 

Thanks for stopping by to visit today! Please, leave a comment – I’ll choose two folks to win an electronic copy of ROBBIE on release day.

 

Tracy

 

Pumpkin Palooza

This year the release of the PSL (pumpkin spice latte—a new acronym I learned this week—) was August 24. As I sat writing in Starbucks, I wondered how we went from my childhood of pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread around the holidays to the pumpkin/pumpkin spice frenzy of today. That made me curious about the history of pumpkins, and to the internet I went.

To my surprise, pumpkins are fruit. (Sidebar, so are all squash, eggplants, avocados, and cucumbers. And, so you can answer the why question, it’s because those plant have seeds and the items we eat develop from the flower-producing part of the plant. Botanically that makes them fruit.) Archaeologists believe pumpkins originated in Central America 7,500 years ago, but unlike todays, those were small and had a bitter taste. (Which again makes me wonder how they caught on for food!)

Despite that beginning, a recipe for a side dish with diced pumpkin was published in New-England’s Rarities Discovered, in America in the 1670s. After that, women developed more pumpkin recipes. Serving sweet pumpkin dishes during the holidays didn’t start until the 1800s. However, the first pies were scooped out pumpkins filled with a ginger-spiced milk, then roasted by the fire. Hmmm, an early PSL?

Fun pumpkin facts:

  • Antarctica is the only content where pumpkins aren’t grown.
  • Pumpkin seeds (each pumpkin has around 500) can be roasted, then salted and eaten. The flowers are also edible.
  • Pumpkin, which are 90% water, contains carotenoids which are good for eyes and neutralizes free radicals that can attack cells.
  • Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin which could reduce cataract formation and risk of macular degeneration. They also contain potassium, vitamin A, iron, zinc, and fiber.
  • Irish immigrant brought the tradition of Jack-O’-Lanterns to the U.S., but instead of using turnips or potatoes, they used the American pumpkins.
  • In the United States, the heaviest pumpkin was grown in New Hampshire (2018) and weighed 2,528 pounds.
  • In 2010 a pumpkin pie was baked in Ohio weighing 3,699 pounds and over 20 feet in diameter.
  • Early American settlers cut pumpkin shells into strips, dried them, and wove them into mats.
  • Morton, Illinois is called the ‘Pumpkin Capital of the World’ and the home to Libby’s pumpkin industry. Illinois also grows the most pumpkins.
  • Pumpkins were once a remedy for freckles and snakebites.
Large pumpkins are usually used for feed for livestock.

Yesterday my Pinterest feed was filled with pumpkin recipes. My research didn’t really explain how we went from the first pumpkins to the craze we see today. But maybe the answer has something to do with the following Pilgrim verse, circa 1633.

For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.”

I may not have satisfied my original curiosity, but at least now you can astound and stun your friend and family with your amazing pumpkin knowledge this Thanksgiving!

To be entered in today’s random drawing for Howdy Fall T-shirt, tell me what’s your favorite pumpkin recipe or what fun fact surprised you the most. Happy (almost) Fall, Y’all!

Decorating With Horseshoes for Craft Day!

After I sold my first two books to Harlequin, I started seeing cool horseshoe stuff on Pinterest. Crosses, Christmas trees, reindeer, wine racks, even tables, benches, and chandeliers! I couldn’t do those things because they required welding. ? But there were other items that I thought, heck, I’m crafty. I can do that. Like the cross here that hangs on my patio. For my I “free choice” day, I’m going to walk you through how to decorate a horseshoe like the first simple one I made for my office.

       

The cool thing about this craft is you can make it simple like my first one or as elaborate as you want. It’s all up to you and your imagination. The other great thing is you can use those single beads you don’t know what to do with.

What you’ll need:

  • Horseshoe (old or new depending on your preference) nails removed
  • Miscellaneous beads
  • Wire
  • Feathers, pendants, charms or anything else you’d like to add
  • Ribbon (if you want a bow)

If I’m adding a bigger item in the center, like the cross and other dangle above, I select beads that coordinate with those. I found these at a local craft store for three or four dollars. I usually prefer a copper or dull gold wire that doesn’t stand out unless my embellishments are silver. I 20-gauge wire, but use whatever fits through your beads or what you have on hand.

       

Slip the wire through a nail hole and bend it to secure as in the above picture. Then just start playing  with the wire and beads. To get the curls I wrap the wire around a regular pencil. (See below) For smaller curls, I’ve used those tiny screwdrivers. Keep adding bead, wrapping, and twisting until you get what you like. Add charms or feathers, and twine or wire in the center. Whatever you envision. It’s easy to undo something if you decide you don’t like the look.

Here’s how my demonstration has turned out so far. I can’t decide if it needs something else or not, but not bad for less than a thirty minutes working on it. You can either add twine, chain, or ribbon to hang your horseshoe. Or you can mount it on a board the way I did with the courage, strength, and hope one. I’ve seen horseshoes put on boards with great sayings such as “Ride…as far as your dreams will take you” or my favorite “Live like someone left the gate open.” I think that may be my next quick project. Just remember to hang your horseshoe with the open end up to keep the luck from running out and to allow it to be refilled!

To see the cool horseshoe designs and items I’ve found on Pinterest, click here.

If it’s a fortune to mail the horseshoe above for the giveaway, I’ll send the beads I wired, plus more wire and beads, the dream catcher and twine. You supply the horseshoe. Whichever, it will come with a copy of Roping the Rancher, my story set on an equestrian therapy ranch. To be entered in today’s random  giveaway, comment on what you think of items made from horseshoes or what’s your favorite? Or, ask me a question about my directions if something wasn’t clear.

Now I’m off to see who offers a welding class. A horseshoe end table would be fantastic…

Happy Crafting!

BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER, New Release & E-book Giveaway

Howdy!

Hope your weekend was great!  I must admit that with a new release, there is so much to do, I feel slightly scatterbrained.  So please bear with me, if you please.

I will be giving a free e-book of my new release, BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER, to one of the bloggers here today.  I hope you’ll leave me your thoughts on the excerpt I’m about to give.

So, without too much fanfare, let me leave you the short blurb of the book and an excerpt.

BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER

By

Karen Kay

He rescued her from danger. Then she stole his heart.

Working as a trick rider for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, Blue Thunder of the Lakota Nation joins forces with two Assiniboine warriors in their mission to stop a hidden enemy who means to destroy the American Indian people. As a child, he’d witnessed the massacre of his friends and family, including the girl, Sweet Flower, whom he’d vowed to marry. The loss has left him with a burning ache and a prejudice against the white man. So how can he fall for a woman like Marci Fox?

Something terrible happened to Marci when she was a child; something that keeps her from remembering her early life. She jumps at the chance to travel from England to New York with her friends working with the Wild West show. But a last minute hitch means the only way to get there is to pretend she’s married to Blue Thunder. Her attraction to him is deep, yet something stands in the way of true happiness—the ghosts from his past and his commitment to a mission that could get him killed.

But soon, Blue Thunder and his friends must discover who the true enemy is and stop his evil plans before he can harm more of their people. Could uncovering the treachery get Blue Thunder killed? And, even if he survives the threat, can Blue Thunder and Marci overcome their past and discover the sweet flower of true love?

Warning: A sensuous romance that might stir one’s heart to look for, discover and ignite a soul-stirring, forever love.

 

BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER

An Excerpt

It was around ten o’clock in the evening, and the show’s last performance of the day was over for the night, although the arena was still lit.  It was interesting to see how the new electric lightbulbs could throw such a glow over the performance area.  Looking outward and up, Marci could barely see any stars, for the reflection of the light dimmed the brilliance of the stars and moon.

It was a cool, clear evening, though it was also humid, and, as Marci sat on the bleaching boards which were sheltered under the canvas tarp, she thought back to their performance this evening.  Her own and Blue Thunder’s performance had, once again, gone over well with the audience.  And, this time both she and Blue Thunder had stayed behind after the others in order to accept the applause from the crowd.

At present, however, Marci was looking out upon the arena, and she was not pleased.  She was seated in the southeastern section of the stands, in the third row up, watching as Blue Thunder and his friends performed an American Indian–style song.  Blue Thunder and Wind Eagle were singing while Iron Wolf accompanied them with his flute.  Wind Eagle and Blue Thunder also appeared to be the ones who were setting the rhythm for the song, Wind Eagle utilizing a handheld drum and Blue Thunder shaking rattles.

But, it wasn’t their singing that bothered Marci.  Indeed not.  Rather, it was the usual crowd of women surrounding them who were causing her displeasure.  Was the young lady whom Blue Thunder had “rescued” last night one of those girls?

Soon their song ended, and the young ladies stepped into the arena and flocked toward the three young men.  Holding up their programs for an autograph, the women’s giggling and laughter sounded gay and free and could be heard all the way up to where Marci sat.  However, their enthusiasm was causing the opposite sentiment within her.  Worse, Blue Thunder and his two friends looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying the feminine attention.

As Marci sat on the sidelines frowning at them, she was engrossed in her own thoughts.  Neither Luci nor Jane was here with her.  Both of them were attending to and watching their children, and, although Luci also performed with the show, since she had given birth to her son, she had taken to hurrying home as soon as the show ended, leaving her husband to attend to their horses.

“They are most popular, are they not?”

So engrossed was Marci in her thoughts, she jumped at the sound of Shooting Star’s voice.  She had almost forgotten that the pretty, young maiden had come to sit down beside her.

Glancing to the side, Marci smiled at the girl who had already become a good friend.  Marci answered her question, saying, “Yes, they are quite popular.”

Astutely, Shooting Star stated, “But, it is easy to see they love their wives, and so there should not be jealousy.”

“No, there shouldn’t be,” agreed Marci as she glanced away from her friend.  “But, sometimes I simply can’t help it.”

“I think it would be difficult for me to see all the girls around them, too, if it were my husband down there.”

“Yes, and look at the blonde woman.”  Marci’s voice sounded hard, even to her own ears.  “Do you see she is putting her hands all over my husband’s chest?  She’s touching him everywhere as though she were making love to him in front of everyone.”

“Yet, he does not seem to like it.”

“Doesn’t he?  I don’t see him shooing her away, and he is, after all, a man.”

“But, he knows he is your husband, and he has been brought up traditionally, and in the old ways.  He loves you very much.  A woman has only to witness the way he looks at you to know you are in his heart.”

Marci was silent.  Yes, she was in his heart…in second place.  True, he had confessed this almost from the beginning and without much fanfare, but this didn’t mean her heart was not now a little grieved over it.

But, she wasn’t about to tell this story to another person, even if Shooting Star might understand.  He wasn’t to blame for feeling the way he did about Sweet Flower, anyway.  He had loved and lost her, and it had happened in as terrible a manner as possible.  She understood why he would still love the young girl from his past.

What she still didn’t understand was why he had escorted another woman home last night.  Although he claimed his action was innocent and that he was only helping the woman and her escort, Marci still didn’t know what she was going to do about it…or about him.

As she glanced down into the arena, she could see the young lady—a pretty blonde—still touching Blue Thunder, and, although he wasn’t acting in a return fashion, he also wasn’t putting her away from him or turning his back upon her.

Marci could no longer watch this without feeling a seed of revolt rising up within her.  And, when the blonde began to touch him in a downward fashion, her fingers moving toward his breechcloth, Marci stood up, ready to leave.  She couldn’t stay here and watch this; she also couldn’t interfere down there without causing a scene.

Or could she?  Why shouldn’t she create a stir?  Indeed, why shouldn’t she let all these women know she had a rightful claim upon this man?  She wouldn’t be spiteful or mean about it.  She would simply let it be known.

“Are you going somewhere?” asked Shooting Star, looking up at her.

“I am,” answered Marci.  “I’m going down there to stand next to my husband.”

Shooting Star giggled.  “This is an excellent idea.  If I were the one having to endure this, I think I would do the same.  Indeed, I think I will sit here and watch.  I might learn something.”

Marci laughed.  “Unless you’d like to come with me.”

“Thank you, but no.  I will enjoy looking on as the other girls come to understand he is not free to give his love.”

Marci grinned at her friend, then, looking forward, she stepped toward the stairs which led down into the main arena.


It didn’t take Marci long to find her way onto the field and become part of the crowd of girls surrounding the three men.  Threading her way through the throng toward Blue Thunder, she eventually came to his side, and, with the blonde on one side of him and she on his other, Marci stepped in toward him as closely as possible and said loudly, “Do you see how they ooze all over you?”

He looked down at her and grinned.  “I am glad you have come here, my wife.”

“Wife?”  The word echoed on the air around these young women.

Marci placed her hand upon Blue Thunder’s arm and murmured in as husky a voice as she could manage, “I am tired of hearing these people talk about how handsome you are, and oh-so strong.”  Marci looked up at him, fluttered her eyelashes and frowned.  “And the gifts they bring you.  ‘I will have to bake you a cake so you will notice me…or maybe I’ll make you an apple pie.’  And then they hug you like this.”  She cuddled up to him.

Although Blue Thunder was still signing the programs from the young women around him, he broke out with laughter.  “How could I not notice you, my wife?”

“I don’t know,” she replied in a smooth voice.  Looking toward the other side of him, she noticed the young and pretty blonde had ceased to caress him and had even backed away.  “You seem to be able to do it well, my husband.”

“Indeed, this is not so.”  He was still laughing, although, after a moment, his chuckling turned to a smile.

“It is how I see it,” said Marci.

“Then let me show you how I see it.”

These words, however, did not prepare her for what happened next.  After Blue Thunder finished signing a program, he turned to Marci, took her in his arms and swung her around and around, even within the crowded space.

Settling her down in front of him, he murmured, “Tell me now that I take no notice of you.”

“I cannot do it now, my husband.”

“I am glad to hear it,” he said.  “But”—he smiled at her suggestively—”I think we should leave here at once and attend to other ‘things.'”

“No,” she replied easily as she scooted out of his arms.  “Not tonight.  Maybe not tomorrow night, either.  But, there are others here who seek your attention, if you dare to challenge the convictions of my Faith again this night and accompany one of these women home….”

Again, her comment was met with a round of Blue Thunder’s laughter, which appeared to be contagious, for she heard other masculine hilarity, as well.  Marci looked quickly around the crowd and could see that both Wind Eagle and Iron Wolf were trying without much success to contain their own good humor.

“Do not bother coming home,” she warned Blue Thunder, “unless you intend to sleep outside our lodge…again.”

Although she knew she was teasing him relentlessly, she was yet surprised when he gave her highly-padded rear end a quick whack with one of the programs he held.  When she turned around to scold him, she was met with his much-too-handsome and crooked smile.  Indeed, so caught up was she with his good looks, she forgot what she had been about to say, and, instead of speaking at all, she turned her back on him and gave her long hair a quick shake as she walked away, ensuring her hips were properly wiggling.

His laughter was like music to her ears.

Well, that’s it.  Hope you enjoyed the excerpt.  Please do leave me your thoughts and please do come on back tomorrow evening to see if you have won the free e-book.

On sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, ITunes and Google Play.

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/4k6ahyfr

KOBO: https://tinyurl.com/3abxfuh

B & N: https://tinyurl.com/exadvx7n

Google:  https://tinyurl.com/uavkxz4

ITUNES: https://tinyurl.com/w2z7adxk

 

 

Windbreaks and a Give Away

This was last September. After this we had a beautiful fall… except that all my tomatoes froze.

Windbreaks are very important in our part of the country. We live on a bench where the wind can be relentless. Small buildings need to be anchored to the ground, or they blow away. Sometimes our house sounds like a wooden ship in high seas. Personally, I love it. Must be the Viking in me. My husband hates it.

Ranch animals spend the winters out in the open, and when the wind blows they take refuge behind a windbreak, be it natural or manmade. We have windbreaks in all of our pastures.

The picture below is of my horses and ponies during a January storm, taking advantage of the shelter.

They also enjoy the windbreak during the summer. I think of it as their bedroom.

It really is the new calves’ bedroom. When the weather turns, all the moms and babies bed down in the straw behind the windbreak and everyone is toasty warm.

But sometimes, the wind is too much. During our last storm, part of the calve pen windbreak went down. The railroad ties had deteriorated to the point that they broke off, which led to a full and rich Monday for my husband and me.

The first order of business is to assess damage. Yep. There’s a problem here.

 

 

 

 

Next we have to fetch new ties from the laydown yard, then use the auger to drill new holes. My job is to make sure the auger is straight and that it doesn’t wander while it’s going down.

 

After that, we take turns cleaning the dirt out of the hole. The auger only lifts out so much. The rest has to be removed by hand. If it’s dry, we have to pour water down the hole so that we can get a “grip” on the soil with the posthole digger.

Then the new tie is set in place. We use a level on two sides as we fill the hole and tamp in dirt to make sure it’s true. On a good day, we don’t have to go back to the house to get the level that we forgot.

After that, it’s a matter of re-attaching the boards to the new post, and then the windbreak is ready for another season of keeping the livestock safe and warm.

 

Do you want to know how happy I am that the windbreak blew down in August instead of February?

I’m having a give away today for a $15 Amazon gift card. To enter tell me about a your most recent unexpected repair. The winner, chosen by random drawing, will be announced on Saturday. Good luck everyone!

Lacy Williams Talks About Bucket Lists

The Fillies are happy to welcome Lacy Williams and her latest historical western romance. She’s giving away a gift card to someone who leaves a comment about their bucket list.

Do you have a bucket list?

Google says a bucket list is “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to accomplish during their lifetime”. I’ve always thought of it as a list of goals or places I want to go before I get to the end of my life.

I almost always have a list of written goals. January first is a great time to renew that list. I look at my goals frequently. But a bucket list is a little different. Like, I want to visit Europe someday. I’d like to have a book on the New York Times bestseller list. I want to see my children give their lives to Jesus.

Right now it feels like I have plenty of time to complete my bucket list.

But what would it feel like if you knew your time was almost up?

In THE WRANGLER’S READY-MADE FAMILY, hero Gil has been diagnosed with consumption and doctors have told him he only has months to live. Gil feels restless and unmoored. He doesn’t really have a bucket list, he just feels as if his life isn’t over yet.

And when he meets heroine Susie in a stagecoach accident, he feels like he’s gotten a second chance. When he begins to fall for her, he wants to use his limited time left to help her reconnect with her estranged family.

But it turns out one “bucket list” wish isn’t enough.

About the book:

Susie is a desperate young mother with another baby on the way. Her late husband left her nothing but his bad reputation. She has no money and is too ashamed to return home to her family. When she is trapped alone during a snowstorm with a stranger and the baby coming, her only choice is to rely on him.

Boone came west to find healing for his tuberculosis. He never expected to find himself trapped with a lost young widow. Or how fast he could fall for her and her two little ones. But it doesn’t take long for his secrets to come to light.

After everything she’s suffered in the past, can Susie ever trust another gambler?

AMAZON  |  OVERDRIVE

 

I’d love to give away a $10 Amazon gift card to one commenter who tells me something on your bucket list. Good luck!

Thank you for hosting me on the Petticoats blog today!

Lacy Williams

Author bio:

Lacy Williams wishes her writing career was more like what you see on Hallmark movies: dreamy brainstorming from a French chateau or a few minutes at the computer in a million-dollar New York City penthouse. In reality, she’s up before the sun, putting words on the page before her kids wake up for the day. Those early-morning and late-night writing sessions add up, and Lacy has published fifty books in almost a decade, first with a big five publisher and then as an indie author. When she needs to refill the well, you can find Lacy birdwatching, gardening, biking with the kiddos, or walking the dog. Find tons of bonus scenes and reader extras by becoming a VIP reader at http://www.lacywilliams.net/vip

WEBSITE  |  FACEBOOK  |  BOOKBUB  |  AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  |  GOODREADS  |

There’s a New Cowboy in Texas!

 

  • cowboy learning how to start over
  • fiery young woman with the heart to save him
  • A past neither can escape, and
  • A future worthy of any Christmas miracle.

There’s a new cowboy in the Texas Panhandle and he’s definitely NOT looking for love in A COWBOY CHRISTMAS LEGEND. Nope. That’s the furthest thing from Sam II’s mind. He’s happy being alone where he doesn’t have to face the ghosts of the past and indulging a new passion of forging knives. Working with hot steel and making something beautiful from it is a lot better than having to deal with nosey people and all their questions.

But his neighbor’s daughter Cheyenne Ronan is having none of that. Especially with Christmas approaching. No one should be alone.

Having returned from a year away, she’s curious about Sam and wonders what he’d look like beneath all that hair and long beard. Why is he so different from his famous ranching family? Why did he cut himself off from everyone and choose to live in isolation?

When he discovers a sick woman and her children stranded in the snow, he’s forced to ask for Cheyenne’s help. Together they’re determined to bring cheer to the little family. And as they work toward that goal, they discover their own Christmas miracle.

Forging knives is an ancient skill learned from as far back as cave man days. Knives are the third oldest weapon behind rocks and clubs and there’s a lot that goes into the process. I love watching Forged in Fire on the History Channel and seeing the intricacies of the profession.

The steel has to be at the right temperature. Too hot and it turns to liquid. Too cold and it splits as the layers of steel separate. It’s like making love to a woman in a lot of ways. She has to be just the right temperature.

And then after getting the steel in the shape you want, there’s the tempering or hardening process and honing the blade to a razor sharp edge. With no modern tools, it takes Sam about a week to make a knife and that’s if everything goes well. Sometimes they’re ornate and unusual along with the functional ones.

His knives are much sought after and his reputation is growing, much to his dismay, because it means he has to talk to people when they come calling.

A COWBOY CHRISTMAS LEGEND releases September 28th and it’s the second of my Lone Star Legends series. For an excerpt click HERE.

Sometimes I look at my hectic life and wish I lived in some remote place far from everyone. No cell phone. No outside contact. But after the covid isolation of last year and spending much of it in isolation, I know I couldn’t be a recluse for any length of time.

How about you? Could you be a hermit and never see family and friends? Or have a grocery store or doctor nearby? I don’t have any copies of this book yet so I’m giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card to someone who comments.

It’s available for Pre-Order!  AMAZON | APPLE | B&N | GOOGLE Play | KOBO |