Dude Ranches and A New Series by Megan Ryder

Thank you to the ladies of Petticoats and Pistols for having me back again for the launch of my new series, Granite Junction! This is actually a spin-off of my last series, Redemption Ranch, continuing some favorite characters and the same world, but with new story arcs and new fun times.

The series features a favorite secondary character, Emma Holt, a guidance counselor who’s been in love with her best friend, rancher Cam Miller, for her entire life. Only, he doesn’t feel the same way and, in fact, is selling his ranch and leaving the town forever. Kind of a romance killer. His cousin, Gabe Buchanan, comes to town, completely blocked on his latest book, to help Cam with the ranch and looking for a little fun, nothing serious. His charming ways win over Emma and they begin a little affair, neither intending for it to go much further than a summer romance. Yet when the lines between casual and interested blur, neither can deny the chemistry between them.

Gabe is a fun loving guy, using his charm and wit to hide his insecurities and fears. One of their dates is fairly typical of dating today – a movie. Except in his case, it’s to the town drive-in theater to see City Slickers! Not your typical romantic first date movie, or even the scary one to get the girl in your arms. Nope, Gabe chooses a comedy to laugh and have fun. He sets out a romantic dinner in the bed of the truck, with all of Emma’s favorite foods (including French fries from the local diner) and they settle in for the movie.

Of course after, she has to ask about his loving the movie, especially since he grew up on a guest ranch and was supposed to take over that portion of the family business until he went rogue and decided to write books instead.

Here’s a snippet from their conversation:

“No, I’ve always found City Slickers to be oddly profound and thought-provoking,” he replied.

She lightly punched him in the arm and laughed. “Only a guy would say that. You probably think fart jokes are funny too.”

“Funny, yes. Profound, definitely not.”

She turned on her side and propped herself on her elbow and looked down at him. “What do you mean by ‘thought-provoking’? I don’t think anyone has a deep, philosophical discussion based on City Slickers.”

He shrugged, his hands pillowing his head as he stared up at the stars. “Well, they should. Or maybe it’s something only a guy would get. But think about the whole premise. Three guys at major crossroads, all trying to figure out the secret of life. And a grizzly old trail boss has the secret and it’s so goddamn simple.”

She laughed. “They’re having midlife crises because one wants to keep dating younger women, one is afraid of his wife, and the other hates his job. It’s all pretty normal stuff.”

“Maybe. But the trail boss tells them that they’re complicating things. They need to find one thing. Just one thing and you stick to that and the rest means nothing. Basically, find the one thing that means everything to you. Mitch found it in the river, right? His family. Nothing else mattered. How simple is that? Yet we all focus on so many things, so many distractions. Narrow it down to that one simple thing.”

She lay back down, her mind suddenly focused. “Oh my God. You found something meaningful in a comedy.”

He grinned. “In every good movie, there’s meaning. Even the cartoons have it. Why not a comedy?”

“What’s your one simple thing?”

The silence dragged on for so long that she wondered if he had fallen asleep. Finally, he replied, “I’m still looking for it. But I’m close. And you?”

She paused. It was a loaded question. Before that night, she might have answered differently, might have automatically replied with her outline for her plan, the one that had been clearly defined for ten years and followed her from year to year, planner to planner. But now she hesitated. “I’m not sure.”

“Good. That one simple thing is not so simple and should require thought.”

“What other pearls of wisdom came out of the movie?” She asked, desperately trying to get back on firmer ground.

“Nope, I think that’s enough philosophy for one night. It’s getting late and I should get you home, though I doubt anyone will pull me over. That’s Cam’s problem tonight.” He laughed.

“You devil. Jo will be hunting him down and giving him tickets.”

He sat up and folded the blanket that covered them. “He’ll probably make me pay the ticket since I’m somehow to blame.”

She remained lying on her half of the blanket under them, her stomach clenching as she realized he was seriously ending the date and was not even going to try to kiss her. Disappointment morphed into outrage. How dare he not even try anything? She knew he found her attractive. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have come out here with her. No, he was putting distance between them, being careful with her, afraid to push her because of their earlier conversation, and it pissed her off. She had accepted her own issues and decided to go all in with him. She could have gone home, but now, damn it, she wanted the full date experience, especially now that they were at the infamous Granite Junction makeout spot, one she had never really experienced thanks to her overprotective brother and his best friend.

“You’re not even going to try and kiss me?”

He turned a hot gaze toward her. “I thought it might be best to end the night while I was ahead.”

She sat up. “You’re not ahead yet, Gabe.” She twined her fingers in his shirt and tugged him down so he lay half across her. “Now, let’s end this date properly.”

 

Of course, their date doesn’t end there. But you’ll have to read the book to find out who catches them and how Emma defines properly!

Check out The Wrong Cowboy, out now!

To get your name in the drawing for an electronic copy of The Wrong Cowboy, share what movie you find profound or thought-provoking that maybe other people might not? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Graduate from college? Check.

Land a school counselor job? Check.

Seduce her forever crush? Epic fail!

In fact, he’s not interested, period. But Emma is determined to change his mind until his cousin, Gabe Buchanan, puts a definite crimp in her perfect plans.

Gabe has come to help his cousin with work around the ranch while struggling to unravel his next book plot. The last thing he expected to find was literary inspiration in the curvaceous cowgirl pining over his cousin. Determined to prove he is the right match for her, he devises a plan to win Emma’s heart.

As much as Emma wants her childhood crush to finally take notice, she can’t help but be intrigued by the sizzling hot and funny Gabe. When he asks her out, she can’t say no. Besides, it’s just a friendly dinner. No big deal. Yet when the lines between casual and interested blur, neither can deny the chemistry between them.

Can Gabe fill every box on Emma’s checklist and give her what she needs the most? His heart and a future together?

Granite Junction is a spin-off from the Redemption Ranch series, with some of your favorite characters returning and making guest appearances, while others find their happy ever afters!  

 

LINKS:

Universal Link
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Itunes
Bookbub
Goodreads

 

 

 

Would You Give Your Blood to an Outlaw? ~ Pam Crooks

That’s what the heroine in my brand new release must decide. It proves to be quite a dilemma!

For those of you who have read TRACE, Book #1 in the Bachelors and Babies sweet western romance series, you’ll know he finds a baby on his doorstep and is faced with quite a dilemma then, too.

Now his baby is all grown up and has her own book! HARRIETT is Book #1 in the Cupids and Cowboys sweet western romance series, and readers are loving the connection in both books.

 

HARRIETT is set at the turn of the century, a time when great medical advances were being made but still had a long way to go in patient comfort and doctoral knowledge. While she was growing up, Harriett’s parents kept a scandalous secret from her, and she finds out quite unexpectedly what that secret is when a U.S. Marshal and a prestigious doctor all the way from New York show up on her family’s ranch.

As I explain in my note to readers, we writers may have to tweak history a bit to fit our stories now and again. In HARRIETT, the New York physician, Dr. Simon Flexner, is a true historical figure who dedicated his life’s work to pathology. The blood groups were well understood by the turn of the century, and the concept of blood transfusions was not new, either. However, the process of injecting blood from one human to another was lengthy, complicated, and completely dependent on the skill of an entire team of surgeons.

By fast forwarding fifteen years to right before the First World War and the medical knowledge gleaned, I could plunk Dr. Flexner into Harriett’s story and give him the skills he needed to transfuse her blood in a fashion my readers could relate to. By then, Dr. Flexner knew about sterilization and anti-coagulants, as well as how to use needles and blood bottles. Instead of a procedure that normally took two to three hours, Dr. Flexner was able to perform it in a matter of minutes.

Blood Bottles

Much to Harriett’s relief, of course. During her procedure, the reader learns of Dr. Flexner’s skill and Harriett’s courage. Blood transfusions were quite foreign and mostly unheard of. Of course, her family and friends were appalled at what was being asked of her, and well, you’ll have to read the book to see how it all happens!

Harriett, Book #1 in the Cupids & Cowboys Sweet Romance Series

BUY ON AMAZON

#kindleunlimited

            BUY ON AMAZON

        #kindleunlimited

 

Are you willing to participate in test trials, like the Covid vaccine? Have you participated in medical research? Have you donated blood or an organ to someone who needed it desperately? Do you trust doctors and their knowledge?

Let’s chat, and I’ll give away TWO ebook copies of HARRIETT! 

Winner! Winner!

Howdy!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to the blog yesterday or today and who left their comment or viewpoint on the somewhat controversial post.  I enjoyed reading your comments and thoughts on the matter.  We do have a winner, and that winner is:

 

Alice

Congratulations Alice.  Now, in order to get the e-book to you, could you please email me privately?  

My address is:  karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net

Again, many, many thanks to all those who spent some time reading and then also commenting on the post.

 

Megan Ryder Will be Here Friday!

Talented author Megan Ryder will arrive for a visit on Friday, September 11, 2020!

Know anything about dude ranches and their cowboys? Stay tuned!

Miss Megan will tell all that and more.

Plus, she’ll give away a digital copy of her new book to someone!

Get your chatting britches on and head over to the Junction on Friday.

It’s free. It’s fun. It’s the place to be for all things cowboy!

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Thanks to the pandemic, entertainment options are dwindling quickly. Usually I’m getting geared up for new fall shows about now, but this year, I’m scraping the streaming service barrels to try to find something new to watch.

I ran across a western called The Legend of 5-Mile Cave and thought I’d give it a try. It’s available to stream free for those who subscribe to Amazon Prime or you can rent it for $2.99. If you like sweet and clean, family-friendly movies, you’ll like this one. It’s a split-time story told both from the 1890’s and the Depression-era. It’s a dime novel romp come to life with adventure, romance, villains, and fancy gun play.

A mysterious drifter befriends a widow and her son just when they are about to lose their ranch to the bank. The boy loves to read pulp fiction and is immediately fascinated by his latest story – The Legend of 5-Mile Cave – and the missing gold that was never found. The drifter warns him he can’t always believe everything he reads and reveals that he knew Shooter Green, the main character of the story, and starts to tell the boy his own version of events. As they work to save the ranch, secrets are revealed that tie past to present.

This was a fun movie with a good story and subtle Christian overtones. It won’t be winning any Oscars, but it was worth the watch, especially if you enjoy wholesome westerns that remind you of the old-fashioned oaters of the 1950’s.

If you don’t have access to Amazon Prime, but do have access to Netflix, I’ll recommend another show involving horses. It’s not exactly a western. It’s more of a down under-ern.

Ride Like a Girl is the inspirational true story of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup despite facing odds of a 100 to 1. She was the youngest of 10 children, raised without her mother who died when she was just 6 months old. Her father was in the racing business, so his children tended to gravitate to that world, but none more strongly than Michelle. I love watching stories about strong women who defy the odds, and if there are horses and Aussie accents involved, even better!

What have you streamed lately that you would recommend?

Winnie’s Winners!

Thanks to everyone who took time out of their Labor Day celebration to stop by and share a comment.  I threw the names in a hat and pulled out

Estella Kissell  

and

Rose Ann Folger

Congratulations ladies! Simply decide which of my books you’d like to have (you can find a complete list on my website or on Amazon) and send me the title along with your mailing info and I’ll get the book on out to you.

 

The Abduction and Murder of Pocahontas, Part ll

Howdy!

And a happy Tuesday to you!  Hope y’all are doing well and I hope you’ll find the blog today fascinating.

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned that I’ll be giving away the free e-book, WAR CLOUD’S PASSION today, thus, I’ll do it here at the start of today’s blog.  Today’s blog could be a bit long, so let’s get right to it.

In my last blog last month, I tried to give an overview and an idea of how Pocahontas came to be familiar with the English colonists and how they had come to know her.  If you missed that post, you can do a search  under “The Abduction and Murder of Pocahontas,” and it will come up for you to read. 

Okay, that said, let’s look at where I left off in my last post, which was with Pocahontas coming of age and I promised to tell you about her marriage to Kocoum, as well as her abduction by a few of the colonists, and the rather sordid details of her subsequent marriage to John Rolfe.  It may take me more than this post to fill in all those holes.  But let’s at least start with how she might have met her husband, Kocoum.

In the Powhatan society, a young girl and boy’s coming of age is celebrated, and it was no different for Pocahontas.  However, because there was a rumor of an abduction planned for Pocahontas, her ceremony was limited to special friends and family only.  There is a special dance called the courtship dance during which male warriors search the dancers for a mate.  This is probably where their courtship began.  After a time, they were married.  Kocoum was an elite warrior.  He was among 50 of the top warriors that guarded the capital of the Powhatan confederacy.  He was also the younger brother of Wahunsenaca’s, a friend of Pocahontas’ father, Chief Japazaw.  Because the priests (called quiakros) feared that the colonists plotted to kidnap Pocahontas, the couple went to live in Kocoum’s home, which was isolated from the colonists and farther north.  She was, in fact, being hidden from the English.  Kocoum and Pocahontas had a child, little Kocoum, a boy.  It was Captain Samuel Argall, an English colonist, who accomplished the feat of kidnapping Pocahontas.

Please excuse me as I pause from my story momentarily to tell you of a movie I once watched where it rendered that Pocahontas and her father had a falling out and that he had banished her from the tribe, thus she had taken up with the English.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Pocahontas was a princess, dearly beloved by her father.  She was also married to Kocoum and had a child by him.  Never would she have been banished from the tribe.  That movie did nothing but further the false information about this very brave woman.  That said, back to Captain Argall.  Why did he wish to capture Pocahontas?  Why did he take such extreme measures, for he certainly did.  Once he had learned of her hiding place, he gathered together not only men, but weapons and arms to attempt her capture.  But why?

Let’s speculate.  Do you remember from my previous post that the English colonists were looting the Powhatan villages of their stores of food.  They were also raping their women and children and oftentimes stealing their women and children in order to make them servants for the English. Sometimes I wonder at the foolishness of sending only men to the colonies.  It only courted trouble.  But I digress.  Perhaps he simply wanted her as his woman.  But I don’t think so.  I think the reason is much more complex and includes money and greed.  The Powhatan had many diverse and rich agricultural fields. There were no trees to cut, no land to clear.  In order to take the land, all the colonists had to do was destroy the village and take the land — it seemed this was considered easier than clearing the land.  This the colonists did and they expected retribution from the very powerful Powhatan tribe because of it.  The tribe might have done this.  But they chose not to because Wahunsenaca considered the English a branch of his tribe.  Though the abuses were numerous, he still sought other ways to deal with the problem, rather than killing the colonists outright. 

Through trickery and deceit, Captain Argall managed to get Pocahontas onto his ship.  She was supposed to be returned.  She never was.  She was held for ransom.  What Captain Argall demanded from Pocohontas’ father was:   a) the return of English weapons that had been taken from Jamestown, b) the return of the English prisoners Washunsenaca held captive and c) a shipment of corn.  Washunsenaca  paid the ransom at once.  In fact Argall writes of the transaction in his log in 1613, “This news much grieved this great king (Wahunsenaca), yet without delay he returned the messenger with this answer, that he desired me to use his daughter well, and bring my ship into his river (Pamunkey), and there he would give me my demands; which being performed, I should deliver him his daugher, and we should be friends.”  Although Wahunsenaca quickly carried out the ransom demands, Pocahontas was never released.  images27According to the book, THE TRUE STORY OF POCAHONTAS, by Dr. Linwood “little Bear” Custalow and Angela L. Daniel “Silver Star,” “…oral history states that before Argall took sail (back to Jamestown), several of Argall’s men returned to Pocahontas’ home and killed her husband, Kocoum.”  It was tradition that he would have come for her and rescued her, something that Argall could not permit.  Little Kocoum survived because upon Pocahontas’ capture, he was put into the care of several of the women of the tribe.  As an aside, there are still many descendents of Kocoum who are alive and well to this day.  You may again wonder why the Powhatan didn’t retaliate.  Part of that is Pocahontas’s father’s fear for her life if he were to do so, the other reason he didn’t attack is because of a tribal custom — part of the cultural foundation of the tribe, which was that of appeasing evil.  If one could, one always sought a balance between submitting to evil demands and preventing the loss of life.  Even so, the quiakros  (priests) of the tribe advised a swift retaliation, but Wahunsenaca would not do it, fearing for his daughter’s life.

One of Pocahontas’ elder sisters, Mattachanna, and her husband, Uttamattamakin, who was also a priest, were allowed to visit Pocahontas during her captivity.  Oral tradition is very distinct on the fact that Pocahontas confided that she had been raped and worse,  she suspected she was pregnant.  Again, rape was unheard of in Powhatan society.  Interestingly, shortly after this confession to her sister, Pocahontas was quickly converted to Christianity in order to rush her into marriage.  At this time, it would have been inconceivable for a Christian man to marry anyone who was not Christian.  It is also supposed that Sir Thomas Dale was actually the biological father of Pocahontas’s child, since, according to scholars William M.S. Rasmussen and Robert S. Tilton, it was Thomas Dale who was most closely linked to Pocahontas during her kidnapping.  Note also that her son’s name was not “John,” but rather “Thomas.”  It would also explain why Rolfe (who was secretary of the colony at the time) did not record the birth of Thomas.

smlrolfe2Was the marriage one of love?  Oral history casts doubt on this.  She had just lost her husband, was separated from the father she loved, had given birth to a child from an incident she described as rape, and was rushed into marriage in order to make it appear that the birth had taken place after the marriage.  Plus, she was not free to live her own life.  She could not come and go as her leisure.  Did John Rolfe love her?  In a letter to Dale, Rolfe refers to her as a “creature,” not a “woman.”  But regardless, whether they loved one another or not, they were married and Rolfe became the heir to the friendliness of the Powhatan people, which included their knowledge of the tobacco plant and how it was processed.  Here is where the unsavory aspects of money and greed enter into the equation.  The Virgina company wasn’t doing well.  There was no gold in the New World, there was no silver, no gems, nothing to make the venture successful.  There just  had to some way to make the colony prosperous.  Would the tobacco plant become their claim to fame?

It seems likely that this might have been their intentions.  Rolfe had left England in 1609 with the goal of making a profit growing and processing tobacco.  He arrived in 1610 and for three years, he had been unsuccessful at both growing the tobacco and in the processing of it.  The year 1616 was the “deadline for the initial investments in the Virginia colony.” From the book THE TRUE STORY OF POCAHONTAS, it appears that time was running out.  The colony was failing.  And Rolfe’s crop was failing.  Thus, Rolfe himself was failing.  What was he to do?

Stay tuned.   We’ve gone over her abduction now.  Next month, I hope to answer the questions of what possible motive John Rolfe, Captain Argall and Thomas Dale might have had for kidnapping Pocohontas.  And then marrying her.  Then there’s the question of who killed her?  And why?  What could her death have accomplished?  Most of all, however, how was the deed accomplished and covered up so thoroughly?  To the point where it was believed that she had died of small pox?  

So come on back next month for the conclusion of The Murder and Abduction of Pocohontas.

Am hoping that you’ll come in an tell me your thoughts about this very real American legend.

Happy Labor Day

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here.  I hope you all are enjoying your Labor Day and are able to celebrate.  Unfortunately this year I am waaaaayyy behind on my current deadline book – long story I may tell you about soon – and will be spending the day furiously typing.

That being said, I hope you will forgive me for not creating a detail post for you. Instead I’m going to turn it over to you.  Tell us how you normally celebrate Labor Day and whether or not you had to change things up this year.  Later this week I’ll be selecting someone(s) from all the respondents to win their choice of any book from my backlist.  That includes the current 2-in-1 reissue of my books Handpicked Husband & The Bride Next Door.

 

 

Handpicked Husband

Regina Nash must marry one of the men her grandfather has chosen for her or lose custody of her nephew. But Reggie knows marriage is not for her, so she must persuade them—and Adam Barr, her grandfather’s envoy—that she’d make a thoroughly unsuitable wife.

Adam is drawn to the free-spirited photographer, but his job was to make sure Regina chose from the men he escorted to Texas—not marry her himself!

The Bride Next Door

Daisy Johnson is ready to settle in Turnabout, Texas, open a restaurant and perhaps find a husband. Of course, she’d envisioned a man who actually likes her, not someone who offers a marriage of convenience to avoid scandal.

Newspaper reporter Everett Fulton may find himself suddenly married, but his dreams of leaving haven’t changed. What Daisy wants—home, family, tenderness—he can’t provide…