Tracie Peterson

Hello to all on this beautiful day.

Somewhere along the way, autumn slipped in and with that comes my third and final book in the Willamette Brides series from Bethany House Publishers.    

Forever by Your Side tells a story of conflict with the native people of Oregon and some fictional folks who were striving against them. 

One of the characters I mentioned in this series is a woman who was quite real—a heroine for that time period (1880’s).  Her name was Helen Hunt Jackson.

Mrs. Jackson was the daughter of an Amherst College professor and was encouraged to learn mathematics, science and philosophy. She was longtime friends with Emily Dickenson and throughout her life enjoyed the company of poets, novelists, and historians.  She married an army man and had two sons, but within a few years lost all three.  In her sorrow she sought solace in writing.

Later, she remarried and during this time her writing began to take off. She enjoyed traveling for research, as well as going to see her publishers. While back east on just such a trip, she attended a lecture by Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca, who described what the government had done to his people in forcing them onto reservations in Oklahoma.  This started Mrs. Jackson’s passion for the cause of Indian rights. She even wrote a book titled, A Century of Dishonor and gave a copy to each and every congressman and senator in 1881. This book led to the creation of the Indian Rights Association.  She became a great advocate for the Native American people, lecturing and writing until her death in 1885.

During this same time, the Bureau of Ethnology (later changed to the Bureau of American Ethnology) was formed by the government to catalogue and record the culture, speech, songs, and beliefs of all Indian tribes in America.  Thankfully, this bureau was able to retain many priceless bits of information that might have been lost—especially from tribes who are no longer with us.

Although the Fifteenth Amendment, passed in 1870, and granted all U.S. citizens the right to vote regardless of race, many states refused that privilege to Native Americans. The Snyder Act (passed in 1924) admitted Native Americans born in the U.S. to full U.S. citizenship. However, the Constitution left it up to individual states as to who had the right to vote.  It took over forty years for all fifty states to allow Native Americans the right to vote. Utah was the last state to legalize voting for the Native American in 1962.

We see all the problems and pain that racism has caused in the past, as well as what is being experienced even now.  It seems somewhere along the way many have forgotten God called us to love one another—to treat others as better than ourselves.  As I researched this book and saw some of the horrific things that were done to the native people it saddened me to think that the larger part of the population back then considered this just and right.  I’d like to think we are smarter now—that we’ve learned from past mistakes.  I hope we have.

Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for one, 3-book set of the Willamette Brides series

Often called the “Queen of Historical Christian fiction”Tracie Peterson is an ECPA, CBA and USA Today best-selling author of over 120 books, most of those historical.  Her work in historical fiction earned her the Best Western Romance Author of 2013 by True West Magazine and USA “Best Books 2011” Award for best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love. She was given the Life Time Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers in 2011 and the Career Achievement Award in 2007 from Romantic Times, as well as multiple best book awards. She won the Centennial Award from RWA in 2018 for having written over 100 novels. Tracie, a Kansas native, now makes her home in the mountains of Montana with her husband of 40 plus years.


Do You Read Series?

Readers tend to love series. But you may not know that there are more than one kind. Here are the basic types:

Dynamic Series – follows the same character or group through the series as they try to accomplish a large goal. The story arc is too big for one book and is fleshed out over multiple books.  Think: The Hobbit, or Harry Potter.

Static Series – each book is more an individual event or installment in the characters’ lives than a series of related events. Think: Sherlock Holmes, Murder She Wrote, or Babysitters Club. You know, Cozy mysteries.

Anthology Series – tied together by a world, a setting, or character relationships. The series can be made up of dynamic and/or static series. Think: Marvel or Hogwarts.

That ends the education part of the post, promise.

I only write the last type – mostly because I’m not smart enough for the first two! I’ve written three small town series – they’re popular and especially well adapted for Westerns.

But my very first series is different – because I didn’t mean to write a series! The first book I ever sold was The Sweet Spot,  a reunion story about a divorced couple with a ranch that supplied bucking bulls to the bull riding circuit. In the divorce, he got the bulls, she got their valuable semen. It won the Romance Writers of America RITA award for best first book that year (I’m still squeeing!).

But it sold in a 3-book series. I freaked out. I’d never written a series. I didn’t even know about the types of series above. So I followed the old adage, ‘Write what you know’. If you’ve been reading my blogs here, you know that what I know is bull riding.

So I wrote a series set in the world of professional bull riding. 

The second book, Nothing Sweeter, was about a woman on the run from her past, who ends up taking a job as groom on a remote, failing cattle ranch. She talks them into raising bucking bulls as a way to turn the bottom line to black. Oh, and falls in love with the curmudgeon owner. 

The last book, Sweet on You, is a road trip story. A combat medic veteran can’t stand witnessing soldiers’ pain any longer. She returns stateside, and takes a job as a member of the medical team that cares for injured bull riders at the PBR events – figuring she could do the job, since she had no respect of spoiled athletes. You guessed it, she falls for one.

I’m proud of their overall average star ratings of 4.6-4.8 on Amazon, but I have another reason for bringing them up today:

They’re on SALE!!

The Sweet Spot is $0.99, the other two are $1.99! Not sure how long the sale will last, so check them out soon!

What is your favorite type of series? Your favorite one?

Julie Benson’s Winner!


Thank you to everyone who stopped by to talk about songs that inspire and comfort us. I have made some great additions to my playlist. 

The winner of the digital copy of To Marry A Texas Cowboy is:


Look for an email from me on how to claim your giveaway.

Thank you again to everyone who shared favorite songs with me. Take care and stay safe!

Blessings, Julie

Folks Coming Together and a Giveaway!


I’ve been racking my brain about what to write for this month’s blog post, but then there’s always the obvious. I’ve been evacuated from my home for three weeks now due to the wildfires going on in Oregon.

Yes, my house is still standing, but it’s been touch and go. I must say, this isn’t my first wildfire rodeo, but this has certainly been the most I’ve seen folks come together.

I have a new appreciation for the old west or any period in history that didn’t have the fire departments and crews we have today. My sister, nephew, and I have had to come out to the house over the course of the last few weeks and water everything down. The power was out for the first week or so, and we had to haul buckets up from the creek to get the job done. It was grueling, but you do what you have to do.
Thank Heaven it rained like the dickens for a few days. That helps contain the fire, but it doesn’t put it out. This is another week of touch and go as the hot spots are being re-ignited by the warmer temperatures and east winds.

But through it all, I’ve watched my little community of Estacada come together like never before. Around here you grow up knowing the same folks from kindergarten through high school. Everyone knows everybody else. And thus, everyone knows who suffered the most damage. The outpouring of help and aid has been such that the donation centers have had to turn donations away. The quick organization of groups of people making lunches and snacks for the fire and brush crews, not to mention the huge amount of volunteers has also been outstanding. It’s great to not only see signs of gratitude to the fire crews in people’s driveways, but this time around there are coolers full of snacks, sandwiches, and drinks. The crews can just stop, hop out, grab what they need, and go.

I live at the end of a mile-long driveway in a log cabin. There are six residences, five in the canyon where I live. The one neighbor had a crew of thirty men made up of his friends and relatives fighting alongside the fire crews to keep the fire from burning down our homes. One house came particularly close but was saved. There are groups of folks like this all over the area. Many more homes would have been lost if not for their bravery, and I along with friends and neighbors commend them. They are still fighting in areas and working to keep the fire contained this week so it doesn’t travel any further into the canyon than it already has.

This has been both an amazing and devastating time, but it just goes to show how kind, generous. and loving folks are. My sister, a professional horsewoman, had to help evacuate 57 horses from the barn she works at. She put a post on Facebook about what she had to do, (at around midnight no less) she never asked for help. She was just giving folks a heads up to take care of their own barns and livestock. Ten folks showed up at her barn with their horse trailers ready to help within the hour. She was floored. 

I’m hoping we’ll be able to return home in another week or so. It will be nice to get back to a normal routine. For some, there is no more normal for a time and our hearts and prayers go out to them. But with the incredible outpouring of love from the community, I know everyone will be all right in the end. After all, we’re all in this together.

Ironically, the book I released on 9/14 starts off with a fire. But like now, folks pull together and are there for each other. 

So, for a free e-copy of Hearts of the Northwest, what acts of kindness and generosity have you seen lately? I’ll pick a random person from the comments below.

A Summer of limited Boot Scootin’ – Mary Connealy

This was going to be about my favorite trip this summer. And I guess I have one, but I didn’t TAKE the trip that was supposed to be my favorite. So the one trip is my favorite.

My Cowboy retired January 1st.


Among other things, I found out he’s got ADHD (maybe???) A hyperactive energizer bunny! Except he’s always worked so HARD I couldn’t tell!

So now, finally, he’s got some spare time and energy and we had PLANS!!!

We had TRIPS planned. A daughter who had a baby in March!! Grandma and Grandpa are ON THE WAY!

A research trip following the Oregon Trail.

A possible return trip to Durango. We went in the winter and my current book series is set there. (so it’s too late to help the book! Still I’m interested in the area! And I didn’t get to see Mesa Verdi when I was there!!! The Government was shut down!!!)

We had this one GRAND trip planned to see a friend in Missouri, then on to see My Cowboy’s brother in Pensicola, Florida, then maybe on that trip swing up to Washington DC where my daughter lives in time to see a newborn.

And then 


Shut down the country.


PionThe one trip we did manage this year was a very modest two day journey to some Nebraska museums I love and have only seen once before and My Cowboy, never. I posted one day about the Stuhr Museum and the Earthen Lodge of the Pawnee Indian tribe.

But there was so much more.

Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska, was on that trip. I seriously love that museum.

Pioneer Village in Minden, NE

And then on to the … well, we call it

The Kearney Arch…it’s really (I have to go look it up…The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument-imagine forgetting that!?)

Anyway, it’s super cool, all of it. And I’m glad my books managed to scoot at least that far.

And as a grand finale of my boots scooting!!! Or the lack thereof.

Here’s sweet baby Adrian

Grinning at me to mock my loneliness!

Boot Scootin’ Boogey one of these daysto see her!

Any favorite trips for this low down spook of a year? Leave a comment and get your name in the drawing for a signed copy of Her Secret Song.

Click Here to Buy Her Secret Song

Scootin’ the Boot

A size 11 woman’s foot never looks good in cowboy boots, trust me on this. So when Boot Scootin’ came up as a topic, I panicked. But then Pam Crooks set off bells in my head – there’s more than one kind of boot. Sadly, my kind aren’t cute, or sexy.

First, let it be known right up front, I’m a klutz. I admit it. Nothing to do but laugh at myself. I’m also an adventurer – I push the envelope on a routine basis.

The two together? Recipe for disaster.

You know those boot-casts they put you in nowadays? Yeah, I’ve been in those as best I can remember, FOUR times.

The first was a freak fly fishing accident. I’ve got a bad knee from a motorcycling accident (Oh, make it 5 incidents-was in a boot from ankle to hip, that time) and the knee gave out on a hill. I felt the bone snap, but was in denial, and had my girlfriends haul me down to the jacuzzi on the luggage cart (wine may have been involved – but only as a painkiller).

The good thing about that, was I had tickets to the PBR Finals in Vegas the next week, and no way I was going to miss it. So we rented a wheelchair. The handicapped entrance was right next to the bull riders’ locker room. I call that a score!


Then I had two separate foot surgeries, right after the other. Between the two, I was in a boot  for a year.  My neighbor broke his ankle in a freak golf accident (yeah, two klutzs in the same neighborhood-what are the odds?) We used to race our knee scooters on the sidewalk.





Then came the one that had zero humor. I was out fly fishing in the back of beyond, Oregon, stepped in a hole with a branch across it, and snapped both bones in my lower right leg. Thank God there was cell service – I called 911 – a sheriff’s deputy zeroed on in the signal and found me about a 1/2 hour later. Problem was, it was an area of mud and downed trees – no way to get a stretcher to me – someone else would’ve broken their leg.

So everyone stood around (by then a few locals heard the yelling and stopped by) chatting about what to do (not me, I was the one doing the yelling). They finally came up with the idea of bringing a boat down the river, loading me on, and taking me to the ambulance waiting at a boat ramp. So that’s what they did. 


Then it was just 30 minutes on a dirt road (I felt every rut) and another 15 min to the hospital – all in all I think it was 2 hours from when I broke it until I got good drugs at the hospital. I was so happy I asked the doctor to marry me.

Surgery, a plate, 13 pins and a wire later, I was back together. The doctor released me two days later, but wouldn’t let me fly for another week. An angel stepped in – a lady I’d worked with years before lived in the area and gave up her BED to me for a week! 


That was it. I learned my lesson. No, I’m still riding motorcycles and fly fishing, but I’m being veeeeeery careful, now.