Category: Guest Author

Jodi Thomas Is Back in the Saddle Again

In this time of ‘house arrest’ we are all staying home most of the time.  Now I don’t know about other writers (haven’t seen any) but I started out the first two weeks thinking I’d write like crazy. 

Didn’t work.  I cleaned closets, cooked, watched TV, read books.

When the two weeks continued on and on, I made a list every morning of what I would do. Pretty soon I learned I could keep my Monday to-do-list all week and just change it to Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday.

THEN I discovered a box of old music, country of course.  I bounced out of bed, put on my sweat pants, didn’t bother with shower or makeup half the time, and flipped on Only the Lonely by Roy Orbison. We danced around the house.

I know it sounds strange but it cheered me up. By the time I played it three times, I was ready to write.

Then I found a CD of Riders in the Sky with a song Gene Autry wrote.  Back in the Saddle Again. I learned to sing Whoopi-ty-aye-oh. Dancing again. To hear the song click here.

I played it as I saddled up for work.  When I was a kid I loved nothing more than riding across open country and today (as I have for thirty years) I love writing.

I’ve stepped into fiction in good times and bad.  When my heart’s been broken, I fall in love with my characters. When reality gets too much, I make my own world. When I simply want to have an adventure, I travel in my mind.

During this time of isolation, I still feel connected to my readers and all the writers I know. We may be home dancing to Only the Lonely but we’re together. 

After I took a bad tumble riding in my teens, the hardest thing I ever did was climb back on a horse, but the strange thing was, once in the saddle, I wondered why it had taken me so long.

 

My advice for this time: 

  1. Be good to yourself.  Get lost in a good book whether you’re reading it or writing it. Have a party every night.  Popcorn and a movie or cookies and milk on the porch watching the rain.
  1. Be happy.  Sure you don’t get to see the people you love, but the upside is you don’t have to be around all those folks who bother you.
  1. Dance.  Personally, I never learned to dance, but I do it anyway.  I told Tom once that I may look like I’m standing still, but I’m dancing inside.  He smiled and said, “I know.”

I’m in the middle of a series and I’m loving it. Book One, BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFÉ came out last week. It’s packed with action and love stories that will keep you reading through the night.

Please add it to your reading list and ‘if you have time’ leave a comment and tell me what you’re dancing to during this isolation. One reader’s comment will be selected to receive my first book out of the box. 

Joke of the day from Riders in the Sky.  “If the world was logical, men would ride sidesaddle.”

 

 

The Texas State Treasury Robbery by Susan Page Davis

We’re so happy to welcome the return of Susan Page Davis. How close did Texas come to bankruptcy? She’ll tell you. Oh, and scroll down for her giveaway!

Immediately after the Civil War, Texas was in chaos. This was at least partly due to the hasty disbanding of the Confederate army at the end of the war. There were 60,000 troops in Texas in the spring of 1865. Morale was horrible. Many Confederate soldiers deserted and plundered. Soldiers pillaged the quartermaster’s stores in Galveston in late May and detained and plundered a train. A mob demanded that a government warehouse be opened to them, and a blockade-running ship was overrun by civilians. Troops sent to calm the mob joined in the plunder. Other episodes of rioting and stealing exploded across Texas.

When word reached Austin that the Confederate forces had surrendered to Grant, the Texas legislature couldn’t raise enough members to repeal the secession ordinance. Rather than stay and face the uncertainty of their status under the Reconstruction government, Governor Pendleton Murrah and several other Confederate officials fled into Mexico. Most other state officials were removed from office. Union occupation troops were on the way, and Texas temporarily was denied readmission to the Union.

During this time of disorganization and fear, violence became common. Mobs and bands of outlaws, many of them army deserters, contributed to the turbulence. In the capital, Austin, citizens got together in an attempt to protect the people and their property.

Captain George R. Freeman, a Confederate veteran, organized a small company of volunteers in May 1865, to protect the state capital until the Union army could get there.  The city was in turmoil, and a mob had taken control of the streets, plundering stores and causing riots and general havoc.

Freeman’s volunteers restored a measure of peace, and they then disbanded with an agreement to gather again if needed. A church bell would sound the alarm if necessary.

Texas during the Civil War. In 1861, the Texas legislature created the Frontier Regiment to guard frontier settlements. They occupied several abandoned federal posts and established a line of 16 camps through the center of the state. Map courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

On the night of June 11, Freeman was informed that a gang planned to rob the state treasury. The bell tolled, and about twenty of the volunteers gathered at the Christian Church on the south end of Congress Avenue. Some of them came directly from church services.

By the time the volunteers arrived at the treasury building, the estimated fifty robbers of the gang were already inside, breaking into the safes. A brief gun battle broke out. One of the robbers was gravely wounded. Freeman was shot in the arm.

The thieves got away with more than $17,000 in specie, that is, in gold and silver coins. That’s a lot of weight to carry! A later audit report stated that a total of $27,525 in specie had been located in the treasury at the time of the robbery, as well as $800 in Louisiana bank bills. Several million dollars of U.S. bonds and other securities were also in the vault, but the robbers didn’t take them. One package of bond coupons was recovered from the floor after apparently being dropped by a fleeing member of the gang.

Before he died, the wounded robber told the outnumbered volunteers that the leader of the gang was “Captain Rapp,” but this man was never caught. No other members of the gang were ever captured, and the loot was not recovered, though some money was found outside, between the treasury building and Mount Bonnell.

Captain Freeman and his company of volunteers were later recognized by the state for their service, but the resolution providing a reward for them never passed the legislature. In 2009, Freeman was honored by a historical marker placed at his former home in Hamilton, where he later practiced law. He is credited with interrupting the robbery and preventing the bankruptcy of Texas. He had served prior to this incident as a Confederate officer, as captain of Company D, Twenty-third Texas Cavalry.

Federal troops arrived in Texas on June 19, 1865, and it took a while to restore order. Ex-Confederates were granted amnesty if they promised to support the Union in the future, but it wasn’t until March 30, 1870 that Texas’s representatives were once again allowed to take their seats in Congress.

Do you find the historical account of things like this robbery interesting and get your thoughts whirling? There are so many unanswered questions. Susan is giving away one autographed copy of Mail Order Standoff to one person who comments. The drawing will be Sunday.

The Mail-Order Standoff: Marriage plans are put on hold in the Old West when four mail-order brides have second thoughts. How will their grooms win their trust? My story – THE BRIDE WHO DECLINED – opens in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1880s. Rachel Paxton turns down a mail-order proposal, but a few months later she learns the man she rejected has died—and left his ranch to her in his will. She can’t figure out why, and she’s not sure she wants the inheritance.

The four novellas include

Right on Time by Angela Breidenbach

Pistol-Packin’ Bride by Margaret Brownley

Twice the Trouble by Vickie McDonough;

The Bride Who Declined by Susan Page Davis.

AMAZON   |   Christian Book

 

ABOUT SUSAN:

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than ninety published novels. She’s a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award and the Will Rogers Medallion, and also a winner of the Carol Award and a finalist in the WILLA Literary Awards. A Maine native, she now lives in Kentucky. Visit her website at: https://susanpagedavis.com , where you can see all her books, sign up for her occasional newsletter, and read a short story on her Freebies tab.

 

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Welcome Guest Jodie Wolfe!

Traveling to Texas and Learning How to Shoot

A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Texas and see the area that I featured in my new release, Taming Julia. I actually wrote the story back in 2012, but at the time I visited my husband’s aunt and uncle in 2017, my book had not found a publishing home yet. When I arrived, they asked what I’d like to do while I was in Texas. I wanted to see an area called the Narrows as well as learn how to shoot a derringer, pistol, and rifle.

First order of business was learning how to shoot. My uncle was happy to give me lessons and provided different weapons for me to try. I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by it, but I wanted to see firsthand what my heroine, Jules Montgomery, experienced. Jules is way handier with a gun than I am, but I was able to see and feel what the kick-back after you fire is like. The deafening sound, etc.

One of my husband’s other uncles brought out the big gun for me to shoot. I forget now what it was called. They filled a pumpkin with explosives and instructed me on how to fire the weapon. While you can’t see the pumpkin blowing up on the video, it was a glorious sight of orange falling to the ground after it exploded. I have to admit, shooting was way more fun than I thought it would be. Click here for a chance to see my target practice in Texas.

Next on my list was a visit to the Narrows.

This one took a little more doing since it’s on private property in Texas hill country. My uncle arranged it, and we were given a person tour of the rough terrain. It’s a rocky area that all of a sudden drops off into a wide crevice that’s been carved by the Blanco River during flood stage.

While the scene only takes place in a small portion of my novel, I was able to describe it much better having seen it myself. There also is a small cave in the area. It’s harder to get inside than it was years ago (according to my uncle), but I was still able to envision my heroine and the scene.

While some of my settings in the novels I created are made up, I love being able to travel to the areas where some of them take place so I can see it, and also learn some of the history too. It’s always fun to learn new things too, like how to shoot.

Jules has many new things to learn in Taming Julia. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure her husband never discovers what she really is.

I’m giving away an e-copy of Taming Julia to one person who leaves a comment.
Share something new that you’ve learned recently.

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and COMPEL Training. She’s a contributor and co-founder of Stitches Thru Time blog. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at http://www.jodiewolfe.com.

 

Follow Jodie on:

BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

Why I like Writing Short Stories by Jodi Thomas

Jodi Thomas has graciously agreed to fill in for Phyliss Miranda today. Let’s make her welcome!

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Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be back with everyone and talking about one of my loves. Writers often ask me why I write short stories. And, I have to say simply, “For the love of writing.”

But in truth, the benefits are far more than that. 

It all started one week before Christmas in ‘93. I’d just finished a novel and mailed it in. I was free and had a list. Shopping, making cookies, decorating, and cleaning house. I put in my first batch of cookies when the phone rang. It was my agent, who rarely called. “Jodi, I want you to write a short story. Think it over, come up with a few ideas and we’ll talk in January.” We talked about a big publishing house that was offering me the bottom slot in an anthology. She hung up. The cookies were burned. 

I scraped the cookie sheet and started again. As I put the next batch in, the phone rang again. “Hello, Jodi,” an editor at the big publishing house said. “What is your idea?”

Now, I’d had about ten minutes to think and so I said, “Two old men go to a train station in Texas the Christmas after the Civil War. They’ve ordered their boss, Holly, a mail-order husband for Christmas. One man steps off the train. He’s tall, dark, and handsome and he’s wearing a Union uniform. Before they can get to him, the man passes out drunk. Sam looks at Ben and says, “Great, we not only got her a Yankee, we got her a dead drunk Yankee.” 

“Sold,” the editor said, “Can you get it to us by January?” 

I hung up, took out the second batch of burned cookies and danced around the kitchen. I bought gift cards, let my two boys decorate, picked up Christmas cookies from the bakery and went back to my tiny study to work. 

A year later A HUSBAND FOR HOLLY hit the NYTimes thanks to Pat Potter the lead writer. 

And, I fell in love with writing short stories.

Here are three of my favorite short stories. I’m proud as can be of each one.

    

Bachelors and Babies by Hebby Roman

Please join us in welcoming Hebby Roman as our guest author today! Welcome, Hebby! It’s great to have you join us!

 

 

Zach is the eleventh book in the Bachelors & Babies series. As with three of my other sweet western historical romances, I chose to set this book at a Texas fort, Fort McKavett.

I’ve been researching Texas forts for over two years, and I’m amazed by how many different kinds of forts there have been in Texas. In the early days, regions of Texas were claimed by both France and Spain. Each of them built forts to protect their claims. The Alamo is an example of a Spanish presidio, built to bring Christianity to the natives.

Along with the Spanish presidios and the log forts of the French in East Texas, there were many families who moved to the wild lands of Texas and built their own personal forts. The John Parker family established Parker’s Fort in 1833 on the banks of the Navasota River. This fort was the site of a well-known Comanche Indian raid in May 1836, where the Comanche captured 12-year old Cynthia Ann Parker. She was the mother of the last great Comanche chief, Quanah Parker.

The famous Texas Rangers built base camps to use for their raids on hostile natives and various outlaw bands. Before Texas became a part of the United States, it was an independent nation, known as the Republic of Texas, and the Republic built forts as well. Most of the Texas Republic forts were “rough” affairs of mud brick and timber. Prior to the Civil War, the United States built two lines of forts to protect settlers from hostile natives. Some of these forts were taken over by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, others were decommissioned and abandoned, a few were used as outposts for state militia or even as stagecoach stops. Many of these forts were taken back by the U.S. cavalry and protected the Texas frontier for years.

Fort McKavett, where my book Zach is set, was one of those frontier forts that changed hands during the Civil War and was reclaimed as part of the U.S fort system. Originally, it was known as the Camp on the San Saba River, and it was established in March, 1852 to protect settlers from Comanche and Kiowa raids in Menard County, Texas. Later that year, in October, the fort was renamed Fort McKavett, in honor of Captain Henry McKavett, who had served meritoriously in the Mexican-American War.

With the outbreak of the American Civil War, the post was occupied by members of McCulloch’s Company E, 1st Texas Mounted Rifles, and the camp served as a prisoner-of-war camp for Union soldiers who had survived the Battle of Adams Hill, which took place north of San Antonio, Texas.

The fort was reactivated by the United States Army in April, 1868, as part of “the redeployment of a frontier military force,” by Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Beaumont’s 4th Cavalry Company.

From 1868 to 1883, Fort McKavett served as a major supply depot providing food and provisions for most of the Texas military campaigns, along with scientific and mapping explorations for other forts in West Texas. The spring of 1869 brought dramatic historic developments to the post with the arrival of the 41st Infantry, and its commanding officer, Colonel Ranald Mackenzie. The 41st was one of the army’s six regiments, and Mackenzie would become one of the foremost Native American fighters of the post-Civil War army.

Nestled in the picturesque Hill Country of Texas, Fort McKavett was characterized by General William T. Sherman as “the prettiest post in Texas” on his inspection tour of Texas forts in 1871.

My giveaway includes a $10 Amazon gift card, along with a digital copy of my boxed set, “A West Texas Frontier Trilogy.” “Zach,” which is set in Fort McKavett, as discussed above is the fourth book of my Texas fort series and it is currently in pre-orders. When it is released on April 1st, I will also send the winner a digital copy of “Zach.” One lucky winner will receive all three prizes! All you have to do to enter the drawing, is to comment on this blog and P&P will randomly select a winner.

Please,  leave a comment so we can chat and good luck!

Hebby Roman is a New York traditionally published, small-press published, and Indie published #1 Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her WEST TEXAS CHRISTMAS TRILOGY is an Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning series. SUMMER DREAMS, was #1 in Amazon fiction and romance. Her medieval historical romance, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, was selected for the Amazon Encore program and was #1 in medieval fiction. She won a national Harlequin contest. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection. She has been a RONE Finalist three times and in three different categories.

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Welcome Guest Eve Gaddy!

Howdy! Let’s welcome our guest author, Eve Gaddy, to the blog today! 

Hi, I’m Eve Gaddy and I’m so excited to be here at the Petticoats and Pistols blog. I’m going to talk a little about my newest book, which just released yesterday. I write a lot of books set in Texas and Montana. Heart of the Texas Warrior is the fourth and final book in the Heart of Texas series, set in Last Stand, Texas.

Here’s a peek:

Setting: after they meet at the prosthetist’s office, as they’re leaving.

Asher asked Jessie, “You want to get a cup of coffee? Or coffee and pie?”

She finally made it through the door and he followed. Yes, she wanted to. But she wasn’t going out with a man who was at the least involved with another woman, at worst married. “Something tells me Maggie might not like that.”

For a moment he looked confused but then his expression cleared and he smiled. “Maggie’s very understanding. Sometimes she gets a little jealous but she usually gets over it pretty quickly.”

Jessie stared at him. “Your wife doesn’t mind you asking out other women?”

“First of all, it’s coffee. Not a big deal. Second, Maggie’s not my wife.”

“Girlfriend, then.”

“Nope, not my girlfriend either. Though I do call her my girl a lot. She especially likes for me to sweet-talk her when I brush her.”

“When you—Oh, you bum! Maggie is your dog?”

“She is. So at the risk of making my dog jealous, how about we get some coffee and pie?”

“What can I say after all that except yes? Let me call my friend and tell her to pick me up at Char-Pie instead of here.” She pulled her phone out of her pocket. “In about thirty minutes?”

“Sure. Or I can take you home.”

She paused before scrolling up to open her phone. “What if we discover while we’re having pie that we have nothing in common and don’t even like each other?”

He grinned. “I think I can still manage to give you a ride home. Besides, that’s not going to happen.”

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

“I’ll go get my truck. Unless you’d rather walk?”

Char-Pie wasn’t very far away but the thought of managing the rough sidewalks was not appealing, especially when she was already tired. But she didn’t want him to think she was a wimp. “I can walk,” she said, lifting her chin. “Or rather, I can get there with crutches.”

“I have no doubt.” He grinned at that. “But I’ll get my truck anyway.”

Heart of the Texas Warrior was a special book for me for a number of reasons. Asher Chapman, the hero of the book, is from Whiskey River, Texas, another fictional Texas town just down the road from Last Stand. He’s the brother of the hero in No Ordinary Texas Billionaire. I didn’t plan on him, but the moment Asher walked onto the page, heck, the moment he was mentioned in No Ordinary Texas Billionaire, I knew I wanted to write his story.

But of course he needed a special heroine. Jessie McBride is the only girl of the McBride siblings. She’s a cowgirl through and through and she is strong, extremely independent, and rescues wild mustangs. When she breaks her leg she discovers she has to depend on others whether she wants to or not. Asher has had to learn that lesson the hard way, and he feels a lot of sympathy for her. And soon a lot more than sympathy!

I’m giving away an ebook of No Ordinary Texas Billionaire to one winner and an ebook of Heart of the Texas Warrior to another.

I’m a big fan of animals in stories and almost always have at least one. Do you like stories with animals? If so, which animals are your favorite to read about? I’ll pick the winners from the posts.

Eve Gaddy is the award winning, national bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels and novellas. She has written contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and romantic mystery. Eve loves her family, spring and fall in east Texas, the Colorado mountains, dogs, chocolate, books, and electronics. She enjoys cooking except when she is writing, and has been known to tell her husband that is what takeout was created for.

Eve also loves a happy ending. That’s why she writes romance.

http://www.evegaddy.net

http://www.facebook.com/evegaddyauthor

https://twitter.com/EveGaddy

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/eve-gaddy

https://www.pinterest.com/evegaddy/

Heart of the Texas Warrior on BookBub: https://smarturl.it/HOTWB

VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY FOR ROMANCE

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

We have a special guest today, so please give Caroline Clemmons a big, warm Petticoats and Pistols welcome! 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thanks to the fillies for sharing the blog with me today.

What better time for us romance readers and authors than a day to celebrate romance? In addition to Valentine cards, common expressions from a man to a woman include chocolates and red roses. I hope I get chocolate! I wouldn’t mind both, of course.

Do you remember how exciting the day was in elementary school when you exchanged Valentines with other children? The smell of library paste and red paper stuck to your fingers? Did you experience the desperation of Charlie Brown for the Little Red-Haired Girl if you were hoping a special classmate gave you a Valentine? Later, when did you get your first heart-shaped box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers? I was in the eighth grade and caught by surprise.

I’d always thought the custom of sending Valentines originated in the nineteenth century. I was wrong. Valentine greetings were exchanged as early as the 15th century and printed cards appeared in the seventeenth century. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s.

In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” (Hmm, reminds me of the word “scrapbooking”.) Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas). No surprise—women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

If you remember studying his works, I don’t want to give you a headache. However, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” writing,

“For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day

Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

<Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2&gt;

We’re more concerned with our Valentine’s Day, aren’t we? What I recommend for the day is a book, a romance of course. Kick off your shoes and curl up in a cozy spot to read. So many great writers have romances available to fit every taste.

I’m offering a free e-book of the winner’s choice to three people who leave a comment today. You can find my books listed on my Amazon Author page at: https://amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/

While you’re there, why not Follow me?

By the way, I have an upcoming release on February 19 for A BRIDE FOR LUKE (The Proxy Brides Book 10). Although it was considerable work, this was fun to write and I’m hoping readers will enjoy the book. Beta reader results have been very positive! It’s available for preorder now at the Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/Maeve. It will be in e-book and print and free in Kindle Unlimited.

Here’s a synopsis blurb:

Each is struggling to build a better life . . .

Two strong-willed people are bound to clash . . .

Danger forces them to focus on what is at stake . . .

Maeve Kelly came to America for a better life but found only signs that said No Irish Need Apply. When the cousin with whom she is staying leaves Boston, Maeve is left desperate. Her job at the laundry doesn’t pay enough for her to survive alone. Her friend suggests a way out, Maeve resists but finally accepts. What else can she do?

Sheriff Luke Sullivan is proud of his accomplishments. Known for his strong principles, he is admired and well-respected in the community. When he learns his mother and aunt have schemed to get him a proxy bride he’s furious. If he’d wanted a wife he would have found one. He respects and loves his mother and aunt and finally agrees to the marriage. Before he and his bride can adjust to one another, Luke is caught in the middle of an explosive situation between striking miners and the railroad.

Threats against Luke by each side have him fearing for the safety of his wife, mother, and aunt. He must resolve the strike to protect his family and many others. Will he succeed in time to save lives?

Enjoy an excerpt:

He pushed back from the table. “How can I keep you safe if you don’t follow orders? Do you understand?”

She put her hands on her hips. “Oh, so it’s orders you’re giving me, is it? Weel, Lucas Brady Sullivan, I take orders from no man. Do you understand?”

“Mae, you’re making something from nothing.” He tapped his chest. “I’m your husband. You promised to obey me when we wed.”

That brought her temper down a notch. She had promised and Father Patrick had lectured her on the husband being the head of the household. “Mayhap I did, but not high handed orders.”

“And what would you consider obeying? You want a written invitation to remain home? Shall I show you the other wanted poster and suggest you avoid that man? You’ve no idea what these other men look like so how would you know if they were walking down the street or shopping in the Mercantile? How can you know who’s an upstanding citizen and who’s a stranger in town? You were in front of the Mercantile when Higgins accosted you.”

She turned toward the sink, hands on her face to hide her shame. “Aye, ‘tis sorry I am. The worry of what’s going to happen has me in bits. I can’t get out of my mind the fact someone may shoot at you from an ambush.”

He wrapped his arms around her. “Don’t fret, honey. I’m doing my best to keep this situation from becoming violent. I can’t focus on my job if I’m worried about where you are and what you’re doing and who’s around you.”

She leaned her head against his broad chest. His strong heartbeat reassured her. “I see the way I was wrong. ‘Twas my mistake and I said ‘tis sorry I am.”

She looked up at him. “But, for us to have a peaceful marriage you’d best consider making requests instead of giving orders.”

ABOUT CAROLINE

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their three rescued indoor cats and one dog.

The books she creates in her pink cave have made her a bestselling author and won awards. She writes historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap. Find her on her WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterNewsletter.  She loves to hear from readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com

Welcome, Carolyn Brown!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome, Heather Blanton

Today we’re happy to welcome Heather Banton! Today Heather will tell you about her book, A Good Man Comes Around, and she will give away three copies of her book to three winners. If you prefer, you can choose a book from her back list. Welcome, Heather!

In the Tragedy, Find the Blessings…

Greed is good.

Greed is good?

Hardly. But the 19th-century discoveries of gold and silver inarguably drew men by the thousands to the American West. Some prospectors were good. Some were bad. All played their part in settling America’s frontier.

As I researched gold rushes for a few previous books, I was struck by one man’s random, utterly stunning gold strike, and the way it impacted his life. His tale is the basis for my book, , the expanded version releasing today!

 

Oliver Martin was one of the few men in the goldfields who was there more out of directionless boredom than Gold Fever. Ostensibly, he was in the gold camps to strike it rich. The fact was, though, Oliver was a good-for-nothing slacker who didn’t even own a pan. Hard work didn’t pull his trigger. He meandered around boom towns like El Dorado and Yuba, panning, drinking, doing odd jobs, but mostly, drinking. Drifting, lost, he had no real plans for his life.

Then tragedy struck. And in nearly the same instant, Oliver was handed an incredible, amazing blessing. I mean, a jaw-dropping fork in his road.

 

After an accident, the young man had to bury his lifeless best friend in the wilds of the Sierra Mountains. Grief-stricken and with no conscious thought to location, he merely chose the first spot he saw. Along a bustling creek, he dropped to his knees and started clawing at the sand. He had not dug down two feet when he found a nugget of gold that weighed in at over eighty-five pounds.

Eighty. Five. Pounds.

In modern money, the rock had an approximate value of $650,000. Digging less than a foot in any direction and Oliver would have missed the nugget entirely.

I was fascinated by this turn of events in the man’s life. Wham! Suddenly he had a pot of gold sitting in his lap. He had gained something of great value yet lost something priceless, irreplaceable, in one fell swoop. I thought of Job—God blessing him, then Satan cursing him.

Receiving an overwhelming financial windfall is definitely a blessing or a curse. Depends on how you use it. We know most of these stories don’t end well. The goldfields were killing fields, rife with thievery, murder, and mayhem. And even when the prospectors managed to hang on to their money, they often spent it on riotous living before they could get out of the mountains.

Oliver found himself facing an unfamiliar choice: squander the unimaginable wealth or use it wisely, to become a better person, maybe make the world a better place.

What would he do? He had spent much of his life breaking promises, abusing friends, and running from God. Now it was time for him to examine his heart. He was still reeling from the painful loss of his friend. How could his future be so bright and yet so grim? Was it even in him to be a better man?

Meanwhile, God was working on someone else’s heart. Moved by Oliver’s tragedy, Abigail Holt, the mail-order bride Oliver had rejected, offered him friendship and forgiveness.

So, the question is, did Oliver go the way of so many lottery winners? Did he drink and gamble the money into oblivion? Loan it to moneygrubbing friends more lost than he? Or did he grow up and find the path God had for him? Did Abigail play any part in his choices?

I hope you’ll read releasing today and find out what drew me to this true Gold Rush story.

What about you? Have you or anyone you know been able to look past an enormous tragedy and find a blessing in it? Comment to win your paperback copy OR any paperback by me of your choosing! I’ll do THREE (3) winners!

Welcome, Ann Roth!

We are so happy to welcome Ann Roth to the Junction. Today Ann will introduce us to her stories and give away a copy of each of her 2-in-1 novels, which means there will be two lucky winners!  Welcome, Ann!

Hey there, wonderful readers, and happy January!

Don’t you love ranchers and the ranching life? I do, and this month I have two 2-in-1 previously published books from Harlequin, both set in Montana ranching country. “Home On the Ranch, Montana Beginnings,” features two Ann Roth books set on ranches in fictional Prosperity, Montana: A Rancher’s Honor and A Rancher’s Redemption.

To whet your appetite, check out these teasers.

A Rancher’s Honor:

There’s no room in daycare owner Lana’s life for casual flings. After all, her dream of adopting a baby is closer than ever to becoming a reality. So why is she still mooning over the sexy cowboy who made her forget everything but the strong, sure feel of his arms around her?

It wasn’t supposed to be more than one unforgettable night between consenting strangers. But when Sly spots Lana’s photo in the local paper, he grabs at the chance to see her again. The guarded rancher is falling hard for her, but it can only end in heartbreak. Unless Sly can trust Lana with the secrets that keep him from believing that just maybe, they could have a future together.

A Rancher’s Redemption

Since she was a teen, there’s been one guy that restaurateur Dani can always count on—her best friend, Nick. Their relationship is purely platonic…that is until a single kiss changes everything. Now Dani is falling hard for the one man she shouldn’t fall for—the one who can truly break her heart.

Nick accepts that he’s to blame for a string of failed relationships. Dani is the only woman he’s ever trusted. He doesn’t want to be just another guy who lets her down, but his new feelings for her are too strong to resist. Do they dare risk their lifelong friendship for a once-in-a-lifetime love?

The second 2-in-1, “Home on the Ranch, A Match Made in Montana,” includes The Rancher She Loved, set in fictional Saddlers Prairie, and a book from author Joanna Sims.

Here’s your teaser for The Rancher She Loved:

Learning she was adopted is the biggest shock of magazine writer Sarah’s life. Falling for champion bull rider Clay is a close second. Years ago, she shared a sizzling kiss with the handsome rodeo star, only to hear that he was a player.

But as Sarah searches for her birth mother, Clay is unexpectedly by her side. Can this really be the same man she considers a womanizer? As she gets closer to learning the stunning truth about her biological mom, Sarah also finds herself growing closer to Clay. Her head tells her it’s a mistake…but her heart isn’t so sure.

A little about me:

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my own hero. I met him in college, and we’ve been married for umpteen years.

Who doesn’t love a happy ending? Especially when two characters are so right for each other but don’t know it. I like to set my stories in small towns, where folks are nosy but also care about each other.

To date, I have published over 35 novels, as well as several short stories and novellas, through both New York publishers and as an indie author.

For a list of my novels and to sign up for my newsletter and get a free book, visit my website

I love hearing from readers! Email me at ann@annroth.net.

Be sure to check out my Facebook page

I’m also on Twitter: @Ann_Roth

And Instagram: annrothauthor