Winner for Winnie’s Book Giveaway

                    

Hi again!  Thanks to everyone for all the great comments today on my post – it’s so great to be able to celebrate with such a fun group.  I threw everyone’s names in a hat and drew out the winning name, which is

LAURIE G

Congratulations Laurie.  Contact me via my website with your mailing info and I’ll get a signed copy of The Bride Next Door off to you ASAP!

Great Time In Kansas City!

Hi!  Winnie Griggs here.  I just spent the last four and a half days in Kansas City at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention and I thought I’d give you a little photo diary type recap of my time there.  (And check out the giveaway I have listed below!)

I arrived on Wednesday morning with BFF and roommate for the week Connie Cox.  We were late reserving our room so we ended up in the overflow hotel rather than the main conference hotel.  But we had a very nice room with a lovely view and there was an enclosed skywalk between the two hotels which meant we didn’t have to worry about weather issues. 

As soon as we were unpacked we headed over to the conference registration area and found dozens upon dozens of other eager convention goers trying to register as well.  Here’s a shot of what the lines looked like.

But everyone was in a great mood and standing in line gave us time to meet some wonderful folks who were as eager for the fun to start as we were.   

There were four or five tracks of workshops going on all afternoon and it was hard to pick which ones to attend.  But the evening was reserved for fun networking events.  First up Wed afternoon was Rosie’s Gulch which celebrated the western genre.  Here’s a shot of Connie and I at the event.

When we left that event we moseyed on over to the 70’s themed disco party where I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in quite a while, the always fun Diane Stacy.

The next morning, one of the publishers sponsored an Inspie Morning Mixer.  There was a great crowd there as well as wonderful food.  Here I am with my FABULOUS agent Michelle Grajkowski and two fellow Love Inspired authors, Lenora Worth and Allie Pleiter.

 

 

After breakfast I spent most of the morning with my agent, doing some catching up and a bit of career planning as well.  Then a couple of Harlequin folks who were on hand for the conference took several of the Love Inspired authors out for a fun lunch.  Which was when I learned that the temperature had dropped from the previous day’s lower 70s to the low 40s with drizzly rain.  Yikes – talk about a jarring change!   Then, shortly after I got back to the hotel, my roomie came in squealing that it was SNOWING.  She was very excited and insisted that she needed to go out and play in it and that I MUST go with her.  If you look closely at the pictures below you can see some of the flakes that were falling.

I finally convinced her to get back inside and out of the cold (but it took some doing!).   That evening was the Formal Ball, and since this was RT’s 30th anniversary year we were all encouraged to go sparkly.  So here are Connie and me in our all-gusied-up clothes and sparklies.  

 Friday was my big day.  I was on a workshop panel in the A.M.  Fellow panelists Allie Pleiter, Stephanie Grace Whitson and myself had the topic The Inspie – So Much More Than You Think.  The attendees were a lovely, fun group and asked some really great questions that kept the three of us on our toes!

 

 Then it was time for the awards ceremony.  I was excited, of course, to be recieving the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, but knowing I’d have to walk across a stage to get it and then give an acceptance speech had me super nervous.  Luckily I had Connie and Michelle sitting on either side of me to keep me distracted and laughing.  And when the time came, I was escorted up the ramp by a very nice gentleman who made certain I didn’t trip on my way up, I accepted my award and made my speech, and if Michelle hadn’t recorded it on her phone for me (stutters and all!) I would still have no idea what I said!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Saturday was the big multi-author booksigning and WOW was that room packed!   I hear there were around 300 uthors signing and I can sure believe it.  My thanks go out to my publisher who did a special printing so I would have some copies of my book to sign at the event!

 

 

And in the midst of all this, I was delighted to run into two of my Filly Sisters, Cheryl and Pam several times during the convention.

 

There you have – just a short summary of a very busy, busy week.  It was tons of fun, but I am happy to be back home again.

And as promised, I’m doing a giveaway to celebrate the fun time I had.  I’ll draw a name from among today’s commenters for an advanced copy of my upcoming June release, The Bride Next Door.

 

 Love Thy Neighbor? 

After years of wandering, Daisy Johnson hopes to settle in Turnabout, Texas, open a restaurant, perhaps find a husband. Of course, she’d envisioned a man who actually likes her. Not someone who offers a marriage of convenience to avoid scandal. 

Turnabout is just a temporary stop for newspaper reporter Everett Fulton. Thanks to one pesky connecting door and a local gossip, he’s suddenly married, but his dreams of leaving haven’t changed. What Daisy wants – home, family, tenderness – he can’t provide. Yet big-city plans are starting to pale beside small-town warmth…

 

NOT ENOUGH TO BE SAID ABOUT INSPIRATION and a Giveaway

The other night as I waited for the Academy of Country Music awards to air, I sat down to watch GAC and got caught up in Blake Shelton’s Back Story.  Being a writer, I’m always interested in back story, or a person’s past that directly reflects either by change or going the course, how that person became the person they are today.  Really, I was killing time, and I think Blake Shelton is cute, funny and a pretty good country artist.  But I didn’t think hearing his back story would send inspirational shivers down my spine. 

Wow.  Writers all have back story. We have successes, struggles and even failures.  I’m sure we’re not unlike millions of people out there, who have fallen down several times in their lives only to bring themselves up from the bowels of the earth, to become a success.

We can debate what success really means another time, but for me, it’s a feeling of satisfaction that I’ve met and/or exceeded my goals.  I’m an optimist at heart, yet it’s hard for me to not get down on myself when I don’t meet my own expectations.

Blake Shelton’s story cured me of that.  He inspired me.  He taught me that sometimes taking a risk and going for broke, while hard to do, is a route one must take to be truly happy.

His story is simply a case of taking one step forward, then two steps back. When he landed a record deal back in 1998, it took four years before the label, Giant, to put him out to the public. He watched as other artists who came before him and after him, were hitting it big, while he waited on the sidelines.  Finally, his record was scheduled to be released and that very week his record label went belly up.  Yep, he was an artist without a company behind him.  Can you imagine how he felt after 4 painstaking years of waiting?  Luckily, Warner record label took him on.  His first song was a moderate success and then the next two fell flat.  The recording label didn’t want to produce his new song into a video or give him any financial backing.  He knew without a video behind his song, he’d be crushed by the competition.  He made them a gutsy deal…if they produce the video of Ol’ Red, and the song falls flat…he wouldn’t hold them to his contract.  Basically, he said, if I don’t produce a chart-topping song with that video, I’m gone.

What a gamble that was!   He believed in himself, his talent and his goals enough to enter into that Make or Break deal.  As he looked back on that now, he realized what a risk he took.  He was that determined…that stubborn.  

The video he banked everything on was a HUGE success and became his signature song.  But all this took years of hard work and dedication. There were more up and downs in his career, a divorce from his first wife, along with the death of his father.  Blake was not an overnight success.   It was over ten years in the making.  He stuck true to himself and knew who he was.   Perhaps he was driven by stubbornness, love of the craft or simply belief in himself.    Now, Blake Shelton, once a tall, cute, unknown cowboy with long hair and a Stetson, is less rough around the edges, clean-cut and a household name who also co-judges The Voice.

I enjoyed that hour of television…I was truly inspired. I think it nudged me to think out of the box, to take more risks with my career and to be true to myself.  What about you?  What inspires you? Have you ever taken a big risk where you didn’t know the outcome?   Has anyone inspired you lately?   

***And on a side note: did you watch the ACM awards on Sunday night?  Three performances stood out, Tim, Taylor and Keith Urban doing Highway Don’t Care,  the tribute to Dick Clark with Garth and George Strait and then closing the show with Stevie Wonder!!  

I’m happy to give away a 2 in 1 Desire today to one lucky commenter. 

 Look for Charlene’s new Desire — SUNSET SEDUCTION –part of the The Slades of Sunset Ranch series, coming in June.

 

A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS by Charlene Sands

 

They say if you want something done, ask a busy person!

Raising my hand here!!   I’m ultra busy.  It seems to be the way of the world, so no complaints here.  There’s nothing I would trade in my life right now.  I’m blessed with a good family, nice home and recently two lovely granddaughters were added to the mix.  Little Everley is 16 months old and baby Kyra is 8 months old.  I watch them 2 to 3 days a week and it’s truly the highlight of my week.  The other hours are spent writing and I usually have 2 to 3 projects going at once. 

Right now, I’m working on a Harlequin Desire continuity called TEXAS RENEGADE RETURNS.  This story anchors the 9 book series and is a unique challenge for me to tie up loose ends of all 9 books and tell my hero’s story to a satisfying and hopefully compelling conclusion. 

It’s my next project that is baffling me. And I will admit to being frustrated with decisions that I don’t usually make on my own.

 I will be self-publishing a story that was one of my earlier works, called Like Lightning.   Luckily for me, my daughter is an editor and she’ll be my grammar guru.  One problem solved.

 The cover art will be pretty…not a clench scene or a sexy cowboy, but a cropped shot of a bride in a flowing lacy wedding gown, wearing cowgirl boots nestled next to a groom in cowboy boots.   We may not even see their faces. That’s to be determined by the cover artist.  Second problem solved.  

The original title (I never cared for…the cover and title an experiment for the line) really had nothing to do with storyline and now desperately needs a makeover. We’ve narrowed it down to a few titles and I’d love the wonderful bloggers at Petticoats and Pistols to give me your pick!  Will you help me solve Problem Three?  

Here’s is the story in a nutshell:

When a fire destroyed everything Maddie Brooks owned, rancher Trey Walker offered the pretty veterinarian a deal, he’d give her a place to stay and a barn to treat her animals if she’d help out at 2 Hope Ranch.  Maddie was sweet and sexy, and had “keeper” written all over her. But Trey didn’t dare act on the sizzling attraction between them—because of the Walker Curse.

Trey came from a long line of men who broke women’s hearts. And he was determined not to break hers, too. But with Maddie sleeping next door, she was impossible to ignore. He wanted to hold her, feel her body against his. He knew Maddie was the last woman on earth he should fall for. 

Which title do you find most appealing?  Which title would make you wonder about the story?  Which title would compel you to open the book and read the first few pages?

Rancher to Her Rescue

The Cowboy Contract

Contract with a Cowboy

Making Maddie Mine

Two Hope Cowboy

Cowboy Be Mine

 

I’ll be drawing a random winner today to win a book from my available backlist!! It’s the winner’s choice.  I hope to hear from all of you! And thanks for your help!!

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth-Talking the Hometown Girl my Digital Only book is 99 cents all during the month of March! 

 Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online retailers

Charlene Raddon & Chocolate: A Victorian Treat? Or More?


Today, chocolate is a universal sweet loved by virtually everyone, but how long has it really been around? The Victorians adored the hot drink, but did they invent it?

Actually, the first chocolate house in London opened in 1657, advertising the sale of “an excellent West India drink”. In 1689, a noted physician, Hans Sloane, developed a milk chocolate drink, which was initially used by apothecaries. Later Sloane’s recipe was sold to the Cadbury brothers. London chocolate houses became trendy meeting places for the elite London society that savored the new luxury.

But chocolate goes back much farther than the seventeenth century. The fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the Theobroma cacao (chocolate), can be traced to the Mokaya and other pre-Olmec people, with evidence of cacao beverages dating back to 1900 B.C.

The Maya are credited with creating a drink by mixing water, chile peppers, cornmeal, and ground cacao seeds. The Aztecs acquired the cacao seeds by trading with the Maya. For both cultures, chocolate became an important part of royal and religious ceremonies. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies. Chocolate was so revered, the Aztecs used it as both a food and currency. All areas conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans were ordered to pay them as a tax, or as the Aztecs called it, a “tribute”.

In 1521, during the conquest of Mexico, the Spanish conquistadors discovered the seeds and took them home to Spain. The Spaniards mixed the beans with sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and cinnamon. The result was coveted and reserved for the Spanish nobility. Spain managed to keep chocolate a secret from the rest of the world for almost 100 years.

Once discovered, the drink spread throughout Europe.

Somewhere along the way, some European decided a special pot to serve the beverage was needed. The earliest pots were silver and copper. Later, European porcelain manufactures began producing them as well. These pots had a right-angle handle and a hole in the lid in which a wooden stirrer, called a molinet or molinillo, stirred the mixture. Rather than a log spout which began in the middle of the side of the pot, as coffee and tea pots do, the chocolate pot has a flared spout at the top. If you look on e-Bay, you’ll see pots of both styles, those with the long side spouts offered as combination coffee or chocolate pots. Prices range considerably, but a good pot can run as much as $700.00, and a set, with cups and saucers and sometimes sugar and creamer, can be as high as $3,000. Although none of mine are this valuable, my personal collection of chocolate pots numbers about 25 at the moment. The photographs are from my assortment.

Although it doesn’t appear in my book, To Have and To Hold, hot chocolate would have been served in Viola Simses’ eatery, and my heroine, Tempest Whitney and her children would have gone there to enjoy the special beverage. Viola undoubtedly owned a chocolate pot, but she would have reserved its use for her private quarters, not the eatery where the cups and saucers would surely have ended up broken.

The origins of the word “chocolate” probably comes from the Classical Nahuatl word xocol?tl (meaning “bitter water”), and entered the English language from Spanish. How the word “chocolate” came into Spanish is not certain. The most cited explanation is that “chocolate” comes from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, from the word “chocolatl”, which many sources derived from the Nahuatl word “xocolatl” (pronounced [ ?o?kola?t?]) made up from the words “xococ” meaning sour or bitter, and “atl” meaning water or drink. Trouble is, the word “chocolatl” doesn”t occur in central Mexican colonial sources.

Chocolate first appeared in The United States in 1755. Ten years later the first chocolate factory in the U.S. went into production.

BIO:  Charlene”s first serious writing attempt came in 1980 when she awoke one morning from an unusually vivid and compelling dream. Deciding that dream needed to be made into a book, she dug out an old portable typewriter and went to work. That book never sold, but her second one, Tender Touch, became a Golden Heart finalist and earned her an agent. Soon after, she signed a three book contract with Kensington Books. Five of Charlene”s western historical romances were published between 1994 and 1999: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch (1994 Golden Heart Finalist under the title Brianna), Forever Mine (1996 Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer”s Choice Award Nominee and Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist), To Have and To Hold Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist); and writing as Rachel Summers, The Scent of Roses. Forever Mine and Tender Touch are available as e-books and after January 24, To Have and To Hold will be as well.

When not writing, Charlene loves to travel, crochet, needlepoint, research genealogy, scrapbook, and dye Ukrainian eggs.

 

 

Charlene is having TWO giveaways today. First prize winner can choose between a Nippon Geisha Girl chocolate pot (photo to the right) or a $10 Amazon gift card. A second prize winner will receive whichever item the first prize winner does not select. All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is leave a comment.

 

Alison Henderson ~ Real or Make Believe


It’s lovely to be back at Petticoats and Pistols, one of my favorite watering holes on the web. Today, I want to talk about mixing fiction and history.

How do you feel about real-life historical figures in romance? I occasionally like to use them as minor characters—possibly because I’m a research junkie and can’t resist including some of the most interesting bits I come across in my reading. I had great fun brushing shoulders with Jesse James in my first book, Harvest of Dreams. He only appeared in one scene and had few lines of dialogue, but his presence added a nice sinister touch.

My current novella, The Treasure of Como Bluff, is set in Wyoming in 1879, during the fascinating period known as the Bone Wars. In 1877, enormous deposits of fossils were discovered in the barren hillsides of Como Bluff, about one hundred miles northwest of Cheyenne near Medicine Bow. Two eastern professors, O. C. Marsh of Yale (photo on the right) and Edward D. Cope of the University of Pennsylvania, waged war on each other (largely through surrogates) in a decades-long campaign. They instructed their hired bone hunters to do everything in their power to gain the upper hand, from misdirecting shipments of fossils to dynamiting the rival’s dig site.

It might seem an unconventional choice of setting for a romance, but I had wanted to write a story about the Bone Wars for several years before starting The Treasure of Como Bluff. I love feisty, independent heroines, and a female paleontologist in the American West seemed just the ticket. I also wanted to capture the excitement of the blossoming of scientific discovery in this country in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

My search for source material took me to Mark Jaffe’s terrific book, The Gilded Dinosaur. It’s a detailed account of the long rivalry, complete with original documents such as a letter to Marsh from a pair of bone hunters using the aliases of Harlow and Edwards describing their initial finds and asking for financial support. That letter painted such a vivid portrait of the two railroad workers-turned-dinosaur hunters that I included them in a scene but had them working for Cope (a valid choice since they changed sides depending on whichever sponsor paid the best at the moment).

I gave Professor O. C. Marsh a more prominent role, although he, too, has limited page time. My heroine, Caroline Hubbard, is excavating at Como Bluff, having tricked Marsh into hiring her, believing her to be a man. When the professor arrives unexpectedly to check on her progress, she has to persuade Nick Bancroft (the hero) to play the part of her husband, the paleontologist Marsh believes he hired. As you can imagine, mayhem ensues.

I don’t always include historical characters in my books, but when I do they mingle happily with the fictional ones. How about you? Do you enjoy real-life historical figures popping in to visit your make-believe world, or do you prefer that they confine their activities to sedate non-fiction? Let me know, and I’ll send a pdf of The Treasure of Como Bluff to one lucky commenter.  Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

In her race against rival bone hunters, the last complication paleontologist Caroline Hubbard needs is an unconscious stranger cluttering up her dig site. Nicholas Bancroft might have the chiseled features and sculpted physique of a classical statue, but she’s not about to let him hamper her quest to unearth a new species of dinosaur and make her mark on the scientific world.

Nick has come to Wyoming in search of silver but, after a blow to the head, finds himself at the mercy of a feisty, determined female scientist. Despite his insistence that he’s just passing through, he agrees to masquerade as Caroline’s husband to help save her job. Once their deception plays out, they face a crucial decision. Will they be able to see beyond their separate goals and recognize the treasure right in front of them?

Thanks so much to the lovely fillies at Petticoats and Pistols for hosting me today, and thank all of you for stopping by to visit.  You can read more about me and my books at www.alisonhenderson.com.

Alison

TALE OF THE HAT…and a Giveaway by Charlene Sands

The Worths of Red Ridge

 

Take a peek at these covers and tell me what you see that they all have in common? Okay, yes they are my romance novels and yes they are all hot, good-looking heroes on the cover, but what else do you see?   If you answered, the men are all wearing hats… bingo!!  That’s right.

 

So I got to thinking what’s up with these hats?  I know they were once called John B’s.  In my books I refer to a cowboy hat as a Stetson nine times out of ten.  Fancy that.

 

Well, John Batterson Stetson, born on May 5, 1830 in New Jersey was the son of a hatter.  As a young boy traveling the west, he came to note that ranchers, cowpunchers and the like wore coonskin caps, sea captain’s hats ,fragile hats made of straw or woolen derbies to cover their heads. None of those head toppers seemed practical or served a variety of purpose.  

 

John B was an innovator.  And he immediately addressed the need for a hat that would serve many purposes.  He created the first real cowboy hat affectionately called, “The Boss of the Plains.”   Its high four inch dome and wide brim kept the sun from your eyes and the rain off your head and shoulders like an umbrella.  It was stitched so tight with quality material, usually felt, that it could also be used as a bucket to water your horse, and the brim wide enough, to water yourself. Cowboys have also been known to fan a flame or swat at flies with their hats!  

 

Stetson’s waterproof hat became well-known for style and use prompting John B to found a hat manufacturing company in 1865 that grew to become one of the largest hat companies in the world, and famous celebrities like Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, The Lone Ranger and Tom Mix could be seen wearing them.   Stetson sold thousands and thousands of hats to the Texas Rangers, U.S. Cavalry and the National Park Service, as well. 

“Boss of the Plains” hat

 

In his later years, John B. Stetson built grammar schools and helped build colleges, including Temple and Stetson University. He also created the first law school in Florida called Stetson University of Law.

 

The Stetson we know today changed only slightly from the “Boss of the Plains” from way back when and continues to be a favorite among modern day ranchers, cowpokes and country western artists, along with wannabe cowboys!!  

 

Hats Off to John B!!

 

Here’s another Stetson-wearing cowboy.  Meet Logan Slade (hunky, isn’t he?)  the oldest brother in The Slades of Sunset Ranch.   Sunset Surrender launches Harlequin’s new Rich, Rugged Rancher series in January 2013 and is available for and early release on Eharlequin in December.

 

Logan Slade wears his hat well, wouldn’t you agree?  What do you think about men who wear Stetsons?  What about you?  Do you wear any kind of hat?  If I was a fly on the wall, what kind of hat would I see you wearing? 

Post a comment here and be entered to win one of the four books above.

ANNOUNCING WINNERS OF OUR KICK-OFF CONTEST!!!

Well, goodness, we started off this contest with trivia about the Fillies at Wildflower Junction and learned even more tidbits about them during these past two weeks of wonderful blogs.

Now we’ll end with some more trivia!!  So bear with me, before I announce the winners here’s some really cool stuff about our authors!

Oh and by the way, it’s trivia, but certainly not trivial.

FILLIES FUN FACTS:

All of the Fillies combined have published exactly 300 books!

 

Eight more books were Indie or Self-published  (with more on the way)

 

These 4 fantastic authors have hit the New York Times Bestseller list!

Cheryl St. John,

Phyliss Miranda,

Linda Broday  

Margaret Brownley

 

These 5 great authors have hit the USA Today Bestseller list!

 Phyliss Miranda

Linda Broday

Margaret Brownley

Charlene Sands 

Cheryl St. John

 

These 3 awesome authors have hit the Christian Book Association Bestseller List and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Bestseller List!

Margaret Brownley

Mary Connealy

Karen Witemeyer 

 

The Fillies have also been nominated for 107  prestigious awards, including the Rita, the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and Hero of the Month Award,  Daphne, Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award,  Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Texas Gold, Lorie, National Readers’ Choice Award, Heart of Excellence Award, RT Kiss Award, the Pioneer Award, the SARA, Ignite the Flame, Coffeetime Romance Recommended Read Award,  Wisconsin Writers Award, Loves Western Romance Award, Crystal Globe Award, Dorchester New Historical Voice, Writer’s Touch, Writer’s Digest,  TARA and Bookseller’s Best Award.

 The Fillies have WON 35 prestigious awards from the above named group!

The Fillies are a diverse and talented group of author writing in these genres: Western (of course!) , Contemporary,  Category series, Inspirational, Romantic suspense, Historical suspense, Mystery, Romantic thriller, Young adult, American romance, Children’s books, Paranormal and  Young Adult Western.

 WOW!

Special thanks to all who have commented and joined in on the fun!   And now on to our Winners!

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! !

Grand Prize winner of $100 Gift Card to Amazon OR Barnes and Noble  is …. QUILT LADY

Second Prize and Third Prize winners of $25 Gift Card to Amazon OR Barnes and Noble  are…MARY J and VALRI WESTERN

 Please contact Pam Crooks at  pacrooks@radiks.net and she will be happy to award your prizes.

 

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON and all other bookstores!! Click on Cover for Excerpt or to Purchase.

 

 

 

Cold Justice and Kathi Orom Peterson

Photo by Marc Reynolds

A fiction writer is always looking for wonderful people in life to pattern characters after. As I researched Alaska where much of my new release, Cold Justice, is set, I found a wonderful character in Klondike Kate aka Kathleen Rockwell. While none of the characters in my novel were patterned after Kate, I think my main character had some of her spunk and determination.

Klondike Kate led a very interesting life. She lived in many states: Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, New York, and Oregon. But the state that really made her famous was Alaska.

Her heart must have yearned for adventure, for after trying to break into show business in New York, she decided to head north. At the time, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were making it difficult for miners and others to get to the Yukon to find gold. Kate was refused entry, but the story goes that she dressed up like a boy, jumped aboard a ship heading to the Yukon, and that was just the beginning of her life in Alaska.

Miners called her “The Flame of the Yukon.” She earned that name because of her flame dance. Wearing an elaborate, red-sequined dress with an enormous cape, she would start her dance. As the routine developed, she took off the cape (this is where it became really interesting). The cape was 200 yards of red chiffon attached to a cane. She’d twirl and leap with the cape making it look like flames were all around her. By the end of her dance, she’d dramatically drop to the floor, which probably looked as though she was consumed by fire. The miners loved it.

Kate’s dancing act was such a huge success that the miners called her Klondike Kate. She had many admirers.  It was reported that Kate fell in love and married Alexander Pantages. But sadly one time upon returning home from a trip, she found Pantages had married someone else, and not only that, he took all of her money.  But Kate pressed on.

When the gold rush died, she moved to Oregon. I found one web site that said later in life Kate married a miner name John Matson, though he remained in Alaska while she was in Oregon. I don’t know if they stayed together or not, but I’d like to think that Klondike Kate found her true love. She died in 1957. I’ve often wondered while she lived in Oregon if she missed the Yukon.

Beautiful Alaska was rich with history and breathtaking environment. While writing my novel, I knew that Regi Bernard and Samuel Tanner—the two main characters in my book—would find out who they really were in a place God’s hand had touched in so many different ways: the beautiful ocean and harbor villages, the northern lights, the snow-covered mountains, the Native Alaskan people, and the myths and legends that keep that area grounded and humble yet mystical.

Here’s a small excerpt from Cold Justice:

            He stood among barren aspen trees, knee-high in winter snow—watching. Always watching. The binoculars were cold as he pressed them against his eyes. Freezing weather would neither impede him nor stop him from his mission.

            He asked Raven to guide his every step. Raven helped his eyes to see and his ears to hear, but would he help him kill if he must before completing the task?

            Justice must be served.

So where’s the romance? Don’t worry. The book opens on the eve of Regi and Samuel’s wedding day. After years of being apart they are finally going to have their happy-ever-after. However, that night Samuel is kidnapped. At first Regi thinks he’s run out on her, but as she checks his place she finds clues that lead her to believe he’s been kidnapped.

I think Regi’s take-charge attitude is something she has in common with Klondike Kate. The two of them would have been good friends.

To learn more about Cold Justice or my other books, please visit my website: www.kathiorampeterson.com or my blog .

AMAZON

I’d love to give one lucky person an opportunity to win a copy of Cold Justice on Petticoats and Pistols. To win please leave a comment telling me what you love about Alaska.