Women and the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition

Today we welcome Linda Shenton Matchett to the Petticoats and Pistols Corral.

In December 1866, the American Civil War had been only been over for a little more than eighteen months. Tensions still ran high in many areas of the country. But one man was already looking toward the future. In ten years, the country would celebrate its centennial, and he had visions of a grand event, one that included nations from around the globe.

John L. Campbell, a professor at Wabash College in Indiana contacted Philadelphia Mayor Morton McMichael and suggested that his town would be the perfect place to hold the centennial. It would take four years of discussions, studies, and committee meetings, but the Philadelphia City Council finally agreed in January 1870. Another year was needed for the federal government to pass a bill to create a Centennial Commission. Oh, and by the way, the US government would not be liable for any expenses.

Douglas Shenton

A force to be reckoned with Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, great-great-granddaughter of founding father Benjamin Franklin, chaired the Women’s Centennial Exposition Committee. Tasked with selling subscriptions to raise $1 million, she “led an army of women through the neighborhoods.” They secured the pledges in a mere two days. In addition, she collected 82,000 signatures and obtained letters from all over the country that convinced Congress to lend $1.5 million to the exposition.

Building commenced, and eventually there would be 200 hundred buildings spread over the 450 acres of Fairmont Park. However, eleven months prior to the exhibition, Elizabeth was informed that the Main Hall no longer had room for women. Incensed, she once again turned to her committee who raised more $31,000 in four months to build a one-acre women’s pavilion that would eventually house seventy-four inventions patented by women, including a steam engine.

Douglas Shenton

Another woman saw the country’s one-hundred anniversary as the perfect place to present her “Declaration of the Rights of Women.” Wyoming had granted women the right to vote and hold office in 1869, followed by many other states and territories, but those rights did not carry to the federal level, and Susan B. Anthony had been criss-crossing the country for more than twenty-five years campaigning for a constitutional amendment.

Pixabay/David Mark

Prohibited from speaking at the July 4th celebration, she simply walked down the aisle of Independence Hall in the middle of Richard Henry Lee’s speech. Grandson and namesake of one of the Declaration of Independence signers, he watched as she handed the scroll tied in a navy-blue ribbon to the host, then turned and made her way out of the building, distributing copies to the clamoring crowd as she went. Outside in front of hundreds of people, she read the document in its entirety as the remaining copies were handed out. Newspapers covered the event and printed portions of the document. Word spread, and newspapers outside of Philadelphia picked up the story. Miss Anthony’s plan worked. She’d escalated visibility to the cause.

Unfortunately, she would not live to see the ratification of the 19th amendment forty-four years later.

Maeve’s Pledge

Pledges can’t be broken, can they?

Finally out from under her father’s tyrannical thumb, Maeve Wycliffe can live life on her terms. So what if everyone sees her as a spinster to be pitied. She’ll funnel her energies into what matters most: helping the less fortunate and getting women the right to vote. When she’s forced to team up with the local newspaper editor to further the cause, will her pledge to remain single get cropped?

Widower Gus Deighton sees no reason to tempt fate that he can find happiness a second time around. Well past his prime, who would want him anyway? He’ll continue to run his newspaper and cover Philadelphia’s upcoming centennial celebration. But when the local women’s suffrage group agrees that the wealthy, attractive, and very single Maeve Wycliffe act as their liaison, he finds it difficult to remain objective.

Maeve’s Pledge is part of the multi-author series Suffrage Spinsters but can be read as a standalone story. Grab your copy today and curl up with some history, hope, and happily ever after.

GIVEAWAY:  Linda attended the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee and was astonished at the displays, including technology that at the time seemed only possible in science fiction, but is now part of our everyday lives. To be entered in the random drawing fore-book copy of Maeve’s Pledge, leave a comment about a time when you attended an event (large or small) that impacted you in some way.

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historical places all her life. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII and a former trustee for her local public library. She now lives in central New Hampshire where she explores the history of this great state and immerses herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

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Winning Maura’s Heart and a Giveaway!

“I lie awake and wonder what it might be like to kiss a man, to feel his arms holding me.”

At almost thirty, Maura Taggart had never been courted, been to a dance, or known a kiss. She’s lived the life of an outcast with her sister Emma due to their father’s profession as a hangman.

After tending the sick during a yellow fever epidemic, townsfolk run them out of town again but not before cutting Emma’s hair. Also unwanted are the orphans left behind when their parents died. Determined to make something worthwhile of their lives, to matter to someone, they take the orphans with them and open an orphanage in an abandoned Spanish mission.

The children name it Heaven’s Door because they believe there is a doorway from the orphanage to heaven and their parents watch over them.

Maura discovers a man near death and they take him in, unsure if he’s an outlaw or lawman. When the mysterious stranger can speak, he says his name is Calhoun, refusing to give more.

The time spent tending him draws Maura closer to him. The soft-spoken man has kind ways and loves the little orphans.

With a gentle finger, Calhoun lifted a strand of hair from her eyes. “Try to find someone else. There are hundreds of men better than me. I’m no good for you. Don’t you see? It’s better this way.”

Who is Calhoun? Who shot him? Maura tries to figure it out while keeping her heart locked. She has to keep the children safe and she knows he’s brought trouble to their door.

While writing this story, I did a lot of research and I found that not only were old West hangmen unwelcome once their job was done, but also their families. No one wanted them to live amongst them. Folks were quick to call for the hangman but once he’d dispensed of an outlaw, they wanted him gone.

In the old movies, he’s always alone. Rides in, doesn’t speak to anyone much, does his job and he rides away. I always wondered about their families. In the movies, they were never mentioned.

Even today, there is a certain distaste and even hate for those who carry out capital punishment. For that reason, the executioner is always hidden. We don’t have a name or anything.

I wrote Winning Maura’s Heart in the vein of the story Sommersby where the mystery of Richard Gere’s character is kept hidden. In my story, the identity of Calhoun isn’t revealed until the end but it draws speculation throughout the story.

Is he an outlaw or lawman?

This is a sweet romance and releases on March 7th. Click HERE for an excerpt!

Do you like stories where things aren’t straightforward? Or where certain characters’ true identities aren’t revealed until the very last? I’m giving away an autographed hardback to one person who comments.

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Also, I have a Goodreads Giveaway going on with 50 copies of the book up for grabs! Click HERE to Enter!


Thank you for coming.

Alabastine Wall Coloring

I’ve been working on a super secret writing project, like some of the other Fillies, and the research has been so fun.

In one scene in my story, I wanted to have a character paint a room pink. Before I whipped out the paintbrush in the story, I decided I better do some research about the colors available at that time (hint: my story is historical!).

I Googled “paint colors 1890s” and one of the websites that popped up had images of old color samples. For a visual person, this was a treasure trove of detail!

But one of those samples really caught my attention.

It was from the Alabastine Company. Since the color I was searching for was this exact shade of pink, I did a search for Alabastine paint.

What I discovered was that they promoted their company as offering “Sanitary Wall Covering.”

What, now?

Alabastine claimed their product would “keep the walls sweet, fresh, pure, and healthful, — as pure as the natural rock from which Alabastine has its origin.” The health benefits touted for their “sanitary wall finish” included resisting problems associated with contagious diseases such as scarlet fever and typhoid because germs and insects would have anywhere to “set up housekeeping” on their superior finishes.


Melvin B. Church founded the Alabastine Company in New York in 1879. Something of an inventor, he tinkered with a new way to paint walls and formulated Alabastine.

The product was derived from gypsum that was mined from shale beds around Alabaster, Michigan. The paint was a base of calcined gypsum which took the place of the widely used calimine in wall coatings and finish.


During the early years of the 1900s, paint and stencils were a colorful and popular way to decorate the walls of a home. Alabastine capitalized on the trend. One of the company slogans was, “Alabastine Your Walls and Combine Healthfulness With Beauty.”



The product was a powder that was mixed with water and applied, rather like Plaster of Paris. The durable surface it created was reportedly easy to maintain and touch up. It could be applied over painted walls – or even wallpaper. One article said it could be modeled into tiles and sealed with varnish to use in kitchens and bathrooms.

The company produced a number of colorful advertisements in various magazines that included some of the most popular of the day like the Ladies Home Journal, the Delineator, and House Beautiful.

They also produced small booklets of stencil designs that were distributed to painters and decorates. Postcards with varied color schemes were printed by the thousands and distributed.  The company even maintained a staff of artists to help with color schemes and design. If you really want to see more of what they produce, an antique booklet is available at Abe Books for $75!

Sadly, the company went out of business in 1948 due to “mismanagement.”

At any rate, I thought it was neat to learn about this unique type of wall tint that I had no idea existed!

When it comes to decorating your home, do you like to paint?

Hate to paint? Fall somewhere in the middle?

Do you have a favorite room in your home?

Researching a Historically Accurate Shooting Competition

kari trumbo header

Good Morning Filly Aficionados!
I’m working on a super-secret historical novella right now and the main part of the story revolves around a shooting contest.

Well, I needed to find out what, exactly, that would’ve looked like. Interestingly enough, there are groups today that do live reenactments and some even allow people to enter and compete! How fun is that? What’s even more fun is that they expect those who enter to not only shoot the proper guns, but look the part!

Image from Pinterest

When we think of a gunfight, people often think of two men, like in the picture on the left, but that isn’t exactly what I had in mind for my book. The last man standing doesn’t really make for a good romance.

And I’m all about the romantic western.

In my story, the shooting contest is not only distance but precision.

Requirements for that type of contest would’ve been four firearms: 2 single action revolvers which could be either lever action or pump action but must be in pistol calibers.
Also required were 2 shotguns. These could be double barreled or slide action. The only caveat is that they could only have one live round loaded at a time.

Photo credit: Cowboy Action Shooting Mcall.com

While most people probably think this would be just one or two shots and the contest would be over, that’s not actually the case. At least in the recreations, it takes over 120 rounds (on average) for the pistol portion of the event, and another few dozen light shot shells. That’s a lot of shooting!

They carry so much that it often required a cart to carry it all (which I never expected, this is why we research!)

There are multiple stages to the event. In the first, shooters are divided into “posses” of three or so shooters, depending on the number of people competing. Contestants are not allowed to load their own firearms. They must aim at a target about 10-15 yards away. 5 shots from each pistol and 8 shells. They will be judged on not only accuracy, but speed. Winners from that round proceed to the next.

Further stages involve hitting targets in a certain order, accurately, and quickly. These stages get progressively harder as the contest continues. The fastest, most accurate shooter would take the prize. Can you imagine the noise and confusion of multiple contestants going through multiple stages at once?

I’ve never competed in anything like this before, though I might like to someday. Have you ever done any sort of competition with multiple stages and competitors?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


I loved the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a kid (who didn’t?) and I loved watching the Rankin/Bass TV special. In fact, it’s still a Christmas tradition for me. I know all the lyrics and sing along. When they were young it drove my kids crazy, hey half of the fun, but now if I’m not singing they ask if I’m okay. ? Rudolph’s message of belonging, compassion, understanding, and everyone having something to contribute always hit home with me. I was a smart, liberal, knew-my-mind girl growing up in Dubuque, Iowa. I didn’t always fit in. I never went to homecoming or prom. In fact, I wasn’t even asked on a date in high school. I look back now and think I intimidated guys. Anyway, guess you can see why I identified with our little red nosed guy.

I was stunned to discover this classic Christmas tale that led to the Gene Autry song, was written by a Jewish man, Robert L. May. As a child, May skipped a couple grades in school, making him smaller and younger than his classmates. As a teacher, I can’t imagine how rough that was for him. Being physically smaller is difficult enough but add in developmental differences with his classmates, and  no wonder he didn’t fit in and viewed himself as a “nerdy loser.” Anyone else see foreshadowing here and a writer who would write what he knew? (Being an outsider and insecure?) Yup, me too.

Names considered other than Rudolph.

As an adult May dreamed of writing the great American novel but worked as a catalog copywriter in the advertising department for Montgomery Ward. (As an author, that sure hits home as I dreamed of writing novels while working countless other jobs to pay the bills.) In 1939, Montgomery Ward wanted to create a children’s book for its annual holiday promotion rather than give away purchased coloring book. May was given the job because of his talent for limericks and parodies. The only direction his boss gave him was to have an animal in it.

original cover of Robert L. May’s manuscript

May chose a reindeer for his main character because his daughter, Barbara loved the ones at Lincoln Park Zoo. When turned in the story of a red-nosed reindeer teased by his peers, who had exactly what Santa needed one foggy Christmas Eve, May’s boss asked him to come up with “something better.” (Okay, let’s admit May’s boss couldn’t tell an incredible children’s story from a hole in the ground.) May didn’t give up, and with the help someone in the art department and his sketches, they changed the boss’s mind. Click here to read May’s original manuscript. (It’s definitely worth checking out. 🙂 )

On its release in 1939, Montgomery Ward gave away 2.4 million copies of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Yup, million. In 1939. Think about that. Despite the book’s success, May who was heavily in debt because of his wife’s medical bills, received no additional compensation. However, that changed in 1947, when the head of Montgomery Ward returned the rights to May. Another event that year that changed May’s life and impacted the classic Christmas song coming to life was May’s sister married Johnny Marks, a songwriter. Long before Marks married May’s sister he’d read Rudolph’s story, and jotted down notes in his song ideas notebook.

Robert May autographs copies of his bestseller, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and a sequel, “Rudolph Shines Again,” on Dec. 11, 1969.

Marks added music to the story, and knew he had something special. However, Gene Autry apparently channeling May’s boss who “wanted something better” than Rudolph’s story, wasn’t keen on the song. Thankfully, his wife persuaded him to record the second biggest selling Christmas song of all time (White Christmas is number one) for the “B” side. (From my research, it appears If It Doesn’t Snow on Christmas was the “A” side and who’s even heard of that Christmas song? I hope he thanked his wife for her foresight.) Click here to listen to the Gene Autry song


Some articles I read claimed May and the Rudolph story is sad. I disagree. Yes, May had a difficult life, but he channeled that into something truly special. No, he never wrote the great American novel, but he wrote a great American Christmas carol that still inspires children and adults today. A pretty great legacy, I’d say. Plus, as an added bonus, Rudolph took care of May and his family for his life and beyond.


Now that I’ve learned the history behind the song, I love Rudolph’s story even more and it’s message seems even brighter.



Instagram and Research

If someone would’ve told me a year ago that I’d be using Instagram for anything but entertainment…


I wouldn’t have believed them.

But here I am, telling you that it is now one of my favorite forms of research. And not only for contemporary. I use it for historical research too. “Back in the day” I used Pinterest a lot and it is still a great resource, but now I love Instagram because I can watch videos that are real life examples of what I want to to know for my books.

Want to know how often a rancher feeds their cattle in Wyoming in the winter? Sure you do, and you might get to watch an adorable kid honking the tractor horn at his mother while you’re at it.

And this isn’t the only thing! There are so many ranchers I now follow. I grew up watching my mom and dad raise sheep but they sold them when I was about eight (so my memory was faulty at best). But I watched videos on Instagram that showed me how farmers do it now. When I wrote about the two types of dogs in To a Brighter Tomorrow, some to protect and some to herd, that was all from watching videos on Instagram!

I don’t want to advertise any specific content creators here (because I don’t feel like it’s right to endorse anyone) but if you like Instagram or are open to it, you can find so many interesting things. You can learn how to construct period clothing in period ways. You can learn about woodworking. You can watch short videos about the weather and landscape in Cody, WY. It really is fascinating.

There are two things you have to be wary of though on Instagram

  1. It can be a time suck. Just like Pinterest or YouTube. You can go on there to find a specific thing and realize an hour has passed and you now know more than you ever thought you would know about cats with neurological disorders….
  2. While the Instagram algorithm learns very quickly what you like and don’t (within a few weeks they were serving me Amazon clothing ads that were spot-on, even though I never bought a thing) you will still occasionally be served content that you won’t like. They are very good at finding similar content, but similar does not equal ‘the same’.

    I know quite a few of the Fillies are on Instagram (I follow many of them). If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow us!

Are you on Instagram?

One surprising thing I learned there was about ranching in Montana and how cowboys dress in all seasons there. The non-fiction part of Instagram is really interesting and can be a lot of fun. If you do follow me, you can even see who I follow to help you find interesting content in a safe way.

You can find me Here: https://www.instagram.com/karitrumboauthor/ 

A Big Welcome to Lena Nelson Dooley!

This guest has written over fifty Christian Historical Western Romances and is still going strong. We’re so happy to have Lena Nelson Dooley come to visit. She’s giving some books away so leave a comment to enter.

Thank you so much for having me. I love reading western novels set mostly in the late 1800s. That’s also what I love writing. Right now, I’m finishing book four in my 5-book Love’s Road Home series, A Heart’s Redemption, which releases in October.

I really enjoy researching to find an actual historical event for most of my books. I’m also careful to make all the details of my books authentic to the time period, the culture of the time, and the characters as they interact in the story. I also include news and other details I find, weaving them into the characters’ lives.

Last year here in Texas, we had a major ice and snow storm where almost all of the state froze over. Even Galveston Bay. That same thing happened in 1899, so I included it in this story which is set in that year.

I pray a lot while writing a story. God often drops things about the story into my mind. I love that. These ideas always make the stories more interesting.



Question 1: What is your favorite thing about western novels?

Question 2: Do you know of an interesting historic event that happened near where you live that would make a good story to use in a novel?

Giveaway: Two people who answer both of the questions will win a copy of my novel, Esther’s Temptation.

This novel is set in Denton, Texas, in 1896. If the winner is in the United States, the person will win a paperback.

If the winner is from outside the US, the copy will be a Kindle copy.


Saddle weary, former deputy US Marshal Jac Andrews rides into Denton, Texas. He’d hunted a swindler and his daughter—or identical twin daughters if Jac is right—and he feels he finally has caught up with this criminal gang. Unfortunately, He is immediately distracted by the lovely redhead, Esther Brians.
Esther, feeling like an old maid surrounded by all her close friends who are happy married couples, is drawn to the intense gaze, blue as the Texas sky, of an unknown cowboy. But several things cause her to become wary of his intentions—and his spiritual well-being. Has this unsaved lawman captured Esther’s heart or will the Lord deliver her from the temptation of Jac’s presence? What will it take for Jac to win this lovely lady and become Esther’s husband?
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Bio: Multi-published, award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 950,000 copies of her 50+ book releases. Her books have appeared on the CBA, Publisher’s Weekly, and ECPA bestseller lists, as well as Amazon bestseller lists. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW – DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. She has experience in screenwriting, acting, directing, and voice-overs. She is on the Board of Directors for Higher Ground Films and is one of the screenwriters for their upcoming film Abducted to Kill. She has been featured in articles in Christian Retailing, ACFW Journal, Charisma Magazine, and Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Her article in CFOM was the cover story.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a speaker at women’s groups, writer’s groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books. She loves introducing her readers to authors they don’t know.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  Goodreads

The Wiggins Ferry – A Connecting Point Between Eastern and Western Railroads by Jo-Ann Roberts

When I was plotting out the details of Ainsley, Book 8 in the Love Train series, I knew Ainsley MacKenzie was from Boston, and would travel as far as the Mississippi River on regional train lines until she got to East St. Louis, Illinois. In 1872, there were no railroad bridges that spanned the river in that area, so how would she get across to the Union Pacific 1216?

My research discovered the Wiggins Ferry Company. In 1797, Captain James S. Piggott was granted the right to operate a ferry between St. Louis and the opposite shore of the Mississippi River. Passengers loaded into small hollowed-out tree trunks at Piggott’s ferry house just below Market Street and were shuffled across the river by poles or paddles with long sweeps. After a couple changes of hands in the coming years, Piggott’s ferry ended up in the ownership of Samuel Wiggins, whose name would be tied to it for more than a century to come.

The Wiggins ferries, like the one in this painting, had one platform on each side of the pilothouse. Typically, new passengers and cargo loaded onto one side, and outgoing passengers and cargo disembarked on the other. Missouri Historical Society Collections.

In the earliest years of the Wiggins Ferry, crossing the river was a gargantuan task. John Darby, who became mayor of St. Louis in 1835, moved his family and their belongings across to St. Louis in 1818 over a three-day period and for the fee of $50—no small sum of money at the time.

“The ferry consisted of a small keel-boat, which was managed entirely by Frenchmen. Every portion of the body—every muscle, in fact—was brought into play…the vessel rocked so that the trace-chains at the end of the tongue often dipped into the river…meanwhile, the Frenchmen swore in French, ‘prenegard.’ ‘sacre!’—so that the enterprise seemed a dangerous and hazardous undertaking.”

Mr. Wiggins subsequently acquired some 900 acres of land along the Illinois banks of the Mississippi directly across from present day St. Louis, Missouri. The Wiggins Ferry Company not only operated a ferry business for individuals wanting to cross the Mississippi, but it also developed extensive yards, depots, warehouses, railroad tracks and elevators. Eventually, the Wiggins Ferry Company became a major connecting point for the many railroads terminating at East St. Louis, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri.

Through the haze of early 1900s St. Louis, the Eads Bridge looms large over the icy Mississippi River. Murphy Library Special Collections, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

From those small beginnings and makeshift rafts, the Wiggins Ferry Company built an empire transporting people to and from St. Louis. By the 1820s, Wiggins had a fleet of ferryboats with names fit for battleships, such as Sea Serpent, Rhinoceros, and Antelope. He even experimented with ferries powered by horses on treadmills. In 1830 Wiggins upgraded to steam power, with the St. Clair and Ibez ferries making two regular daily river crossings. By the early 1870s the company was averaging river crossings of 1,500 people, 10,000 bushels of coal, and 750 wagons each day.

Winter river crossings were hazardous to say the least. But in 1839, these crossings became easier thanks to the Icelander and its pointed, ice-smashing iron hull. There were some setbacks, however. In 1851 there was a ferry explosion, and in 1864, four boats were lost to an ice floe (a floating piece of ice causing jams on freshwater rivers) that damaged the hulls.

By 1870, The company’s stock reached $1 million just as the Eads Bridge, St. Louis’s first bridge across the Mississippi, was rising in the middle of the river. As the bridge would not be completed until 1874, I had my answer!

If you’d like to read an excerpt CLICK HERE

I’ll be giving away TWO ebook editions of Ainsley – Love Train Series Book 8 – to two winners!

For a chance to win, answer the question below:


As an unmarried woman, would you have dismissed the conventions of the 1870s and traveled alone out West by rail or stagecoach? Why or why not?


Jo-Ann Roberts was born and raised in western Massachusetts. Fascinated by America’s Old West, she always felt she was destined to travel on a wagon train following the Oregon Trail. She enjoys writing sweet historical romances which take readers back to a simpler time when families and friends help one another find love and happiness.

Website: https://www.jo-annrobertsauthor.com/

Kathleen Lawless Says Build it and They Will Come

The more research I do, the more I am filled with admiration for early settlers who packed up and left everything familiar in hopes of a better life. Especially the women. I like to think many of them had more freedom in their new homes—at least I write uplifting stories that express that sentiment. My heroines are independent and forward-thinking, focused on making a better life not only for themselves but for others. Historian Elizabeth Jameson noted western women “understood that they performed valuable work for their families and their communities”.

Several of my heroines became business owners and community activists, responsible for the building of churches, school, libraries and hospitals. I even have a heroine who is a physician. All these women were focused on improved quality of life for men, men, and children.  Their contributions, large or small, helped settle all areas of the American West.


Romanticized as my view may be, I see the settling of the West as a time of possibilities like never before. Women in the West gained political power ahead of their sisters in the East, and by and large put that power to good use. Women in the West also paid less heed to boundaries than their sisters in the East. I have one rebellious heroine who eschewed fashion dictates and designed her own version of breeches which were better for her work than a skirt.

There were definitely more men than women in the West, hence this photo. If you were a lady looking to get married, which one of these gents would spark your interest?  Comment below and one lucky winner will receive a copy of my recent release, Chelsea’s Choice, where my heroine has no idea what she is getting into when she follows a much-admired older cousin to Arizona.

Chelsea means well, but is basically clueless. Totally belittled by her patriarchal family back home, all she knows is she wants to do something meaningful and help others. Things in her new home get off to a rocky start when she bumbles into the life of a reclusive man who simply wants to be left alone. The more she tries to help, the more of a mess she makes in poor, reclusive Reece’s life.


Here’s a teaser from Chelsea’s choice, copyright 2022 Kathleen Lawless

Reece’s house must be set far back from the road, because the driveway went on forever until finally she rounded a curve where the narrow drive opened up to a long, narrow strip of land, home to a small cottage and several outbuildings. On the cabin’s opposite side stood a large hothouse, the roof crisscrossed with an interesting pattern of ridges.  A stone’s throw from the first hothouse, she saw the skeletal outline of what looked like a second structure.

She was so busy taking it in, the peaceful scene backdropped by a blue sky stretching as far as the eye could see before it dipped out of sight, that she didn’t see the large, furry animal running frantically toward her until almost too late.  As she swerved to miss it, her feet flew off the pedals and she lost control of her bicycle. It careened wildly toward the hothouse, the mangy mutt nipping at the vehicle’s back tire and growling.

Oh no!  As she neared the structure, the ground started to slope and she picked up speed at an alarming rate, the pedals spinning far too fast for her to get her feet back into position.

Straight ahead loomed the hothouse and she started to close her eyes, anticipating she and the bicycle would crash right through the glass structure.  Suddenly a man stepped directly into her path, grabbed hold of the handlebars and brought the bicycle to an abrupt stop that sent her tumbling from the seat to land at his feet.

Reece Rawlings glared at her from an intimidating height.  She hadn’t realized the other day quite how large he was.  Large enough to dwarf most men.  Without a word he patted his leg and the dog ran to his side, sat at Reece’s feet and eyed Chelsea with curiosity.

“You’re dangerous,” Reece said finally before he turned and started to walk away, the dog following.

“It was all your dog’s fault,” Chelsea said, stung, as she picked up the discarded bicycle, relieved it was none the worse for the encounter, and rushed to catch up to him.  “He came out of nowhere with no warning bark or anything.”

“He can’t bark.”

“What’s with a dog that can’t bark?”

Reece turned then, and eyed her.  “What’s with all the questions?”


Available here on Kindle or in KU   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Q9BG2FV?tag=pettpist-20

You can check out the entire Reclusive Man Series Here  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09K7FP3SJ?tag=pettpist-20

USA Today Bestselling Author Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her many alpha male heroes.

With nearly 50 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction.

She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest and loves to hear from her readers.  http://www.kathleenlawless.com

Better yet, sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Newsletter to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1


Regina Walker Insists Genealogy Isn’t Such a Bore After All!

The Fillies give a big welcome to Regina Walker. Regina crafts interesting characters facing some of life’s hardest challenges. Her heart’s desire is to always point toward Jesus through the way her characters face challenges, relationships, and adversity.

Regina is an Oklahoma import, although she was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. She likes to curl up on the couch and binge-watch crime shows with her hard-working husband. When she’s not wrestling with a writing project, she can be found wrangling their children, riding their horses, or working around their small hobby farm.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment and thank Karen Witemeyer for so graciously inviting me to write a post for Petticoats and Pistols. I appreciate all of the ladies that run this fun site, and I’m thankful you are here to read this post and the others!

For as long as I can recall, my mother has traced our family history. Sometimes she makes slow progress, occasionally great leaps, but it’s something she has built for years. While her dedication and commitment have always inspired me, I must admit that I thought it was such a boring pursuit.

I listened with half-hearted attention, my mind always wandering to something else. When I decided to take my writing seriously, I swore I would never write historical anything.

See, not only did genealogy bore me endlessly, but history, in general, made my eyes bug out of my head. I know it is important to understand certain aspects of history, but it was never my thing.

When I received a message asking me to join the Mail-Order Mama series, I wrinkled my nose. Historicals and I don’t mix! But I read the premise, and immediately, Mary Ann came to life and started whispering her story to me.

The way she respected and loved her father, the way he cared for their family, and the struggles with her mama all blossomed in my mind.

How could I say no to a story that was writing itself with no help from me?

I did end up helping sort out a few things in this story. I started my research on my mom’s website, reading about real-life people in our family. I selected Wyoming because my great-great-grandfather homesteaded there. The old house, although in terrible disrepair, still stands near Lake De Smet.

I chose to give Mason the last name Barkey to honor my heritage. Although my great-great-grandfather did not order a bride via the mail, it was my way of honoring where I came from to include the last name in this story.

Now, don’t let me fool you. I didn’t become a history buff and I’m not going to take up genealogy the way my sweet mom has. I did gain an appreciation for both history and genealogy that I did not have before.


Now that you know a little bit about how I came to write Mary Ann’s story – A Maid for Masonhow about a chance to win an e-book copy of my book? Three lucky winners will be drawn at random for this giveaway. To be entered, leave a comment on whether you’ve ever developed an appreciation for something because of a book you’ve read. 

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for spending a little time with me today.