Welcome Guest Author Tina Dee!

Today the Fillies are pleased to welcome guest author Tina Dee to the Junction. Tina is here to tell us about her new release and one aspect of her research. She’s also got a fun giveaway in store so read on to learn the details!

Hi, everyone! Thank you to the Petticoats & Pistols blog hosts and to you, sweet readers, for having me here today. I love spending time with you all! For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I write heartwarming historical and contemporary Christian romances with a good deal of humor.

Today, I’m sharing about my upcoming release, For the Love of Penni, which takes place in the late 1800s. This story is about a woman in search of her brother who is slow of learning and became lost in the War Between the States. And now, she is torn between finding him and her new life as a mail-order bride.

One of the things in life that calms Penni’s heart is to pet her favorite hen, Dainty, when chores on the farm are finished. Later, Dainty travels with her onboard a steam train in a homemade cage.

One of the things I had the most fun researching for this story was chickens. Penni’s hen, Dainty, is a Dominique breed. It is said that they are the oldest known breed, being favored by settlers back in the 1750s. They were hardy birds and were important to settlers because they didn’t require a lot of special care.


The hen pictured below is actually from the Barred Rock breed but looks very similar to the Dominique—though the Dominique has a ruffled-rose type comb (the place where I get my stock photos only had this chicken breed’s pics available). These Dominiques, and their rose combs, were resistant to frostbite. The hens roamed freely and foraged for their existence. Their feathers were also used for stuffing pillows. I hope to have a few of these one day. Many thanks to thehappychickencoop.com for the fun facts. Do you raise chickens? If you do, share what breed, and what you love about them?

DepositPhotos image ID:55710581 ewastudio


More about my story, For the Love of Penni:


She’s in search of a family. He has one to offer. Can she be the wife he needs or will her desire to find her brother pull her heart away?

Penni Pembrooke has stopped at nothing to find her long lost brother after the War Between the States. With years of searching behind her, she’s just about given up hope. Now, the home where she resides has become overcrowded. With extended family pressing in on all sides, Penni writes to a mail-order bride agency in hopes of a new life. Meanwhile, she continues to search for her brother who is slow of learning. He still needs her; a war wouldn’t change that.

Connor Callaghan finds himself the father of a brand-new infant. While he’s bringing his orphaned niece and his mother home from Ireland to Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, he learns the mail-order bride he left behind is now married to another.
With a farm to run and more mouths to feed it’s more than he bargained for. Yet, Penni comes as a fresh surprise—but will she make her heart available to him?

For the Love of Penni is a lighthearted, Christian mail-order bride romance and is part of the multi-author Brides of Pelican Rapids series. All books in this historical Christian romance series are stand-alone stories and can be read in any order.


For the Love of Penni releases on 9/30/21. It’s currently on pre-order for 99 cents. To pre-order from Amazon click on the image below



About Tina:

Tina Dee enjoys writing historical and contemporary western romances. She lives on the west coast with her family, including a heard of crazy cats and a bossy little Yorkie named Molly.

She loves coffee and almond croissants. She enjoys campfire cooking, and her favorite seasons are autumn and winter.



Tina is giving away the adorable towel pictured below. Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing


Love on the Range – Coming Soon!

I love it that the tree covers side by side make one big picture!

I love it that the three pictures side by side, make one big picture!

Love on the Range

Coming in October!

Click to buy on Amazon

Click to buy on Baker Book House

Here’s an excerpt

Molly was just preparing to insist on clearing the table and washing the dishes when someone knocked on their front door. All right, admit it, it was pounding, someone slammed the side of their fist into the wood.

“Mercy,” the parson rose quickly, “someone must be badly in need of a parson.”

He rushed to the door, swung it open

Wyatt stood there, glowering.

Molly’s stomach twisted. “I think they are here for me, Parson.” Her voice rose so the Hunt brothers—all three of them stood there—could hear her. “They must have doubts about allowing a self-supporting, intelligent, adult woman, to make her own decisions and live her own life.”

Mrs. Brownley arched one brow at her. Molly had no doubt her tone wasn’t lost on Ida Brownley.

She saw Kevin looking worried. Probably because he had to leave his wife behind for more than ten minutes.

Falcon, he didn’t look overly upset.

Wyatt charged in, follow by the other Hunt brothers…but only one of them actually her real brother.

Molly slapped her napkin on the table. “Are you three taking up brotherly outings now?”

Wyatt glowered, like he had been since they opened the door—and why? She hadn’t done anything wrong? Kevin’s brow furrowed with worry. Falcon grinned at her.

She knew, even if they didn’t, that their protest was all out of guilt. They didn’t really want her underfoot. They were all just bound up by their sense of responsibility.

“Come and join us at the table,” Mrs. Brownley gestured. “Would you like some ham? I made quite a bit thinking to leftovers, but I’d be delighted to share it with you.”

The parson pulled two extra chairs up. It was crowded but there was enough room. Kevin rounded the table and shoved a chair in beside Molly, while Falcon and Wyatt sat across from them, Wyatt straight across from Molly.

“We haven’t had supper, Mrs. Brownley.” Wyatt seemed to be very friendly with the couple. “I’d be mighty glad to have some of your fried ham. On Sunday, I’ll bring you in a couple of our older roosters for your stew pot.”

“That sounds wonderful. We’d appreciate that.”

Wyatt took a piece of tender, sliced ham from the serving platter. “I’ve had your fried ham at a church social, Ma’am. It’s a wonder what you can do with a slice of pork.”

Mrs. Brownley pinked up nicely and passed a bowl still half full of potatoes. The men started serving themselves as if…Molly scowled. As if she wasn’t there with a hot meal when they came in at night. As if she wasn’t there to wait on them hand and foot, and now they were starving and letting some other poor woman do it.

“It’s a wonder, really, Wyatt, that you didn’t starve to death before I arrived in Wyoming.”

“Now, Molly,” Kevin sat beside her, pouring gravy over his potatoes and turnips and ham. He near to drowned the whole plate. “we’re here to fetch you home. We—that is—I don’t want you to live away from us.”

“Neither do I,” Falcon said around a mouthful of cured pig.

“You’re coming home and that’s that.” Wyatt went back to chewing. Maybe he’d come in scowling because he blamed her that he was hungry.

“We want you out at the RHR and we feel like…like…” Kevin gave Wyatt a desperate glance.

Molly knew it might be best to have this talk strictly between Kevin and her. No one else needed to hear their business.

Parson Brownley said, “Sometimes when there is strife in a family, it can help to talk about it with another person present. A parson.”

“And his wife.” Ida Brownley gave Molly a pointed look. Neither one of them were budging. Almost like they knew she wanted them to leave.

“I have a job. I’m sure you were going to ask soon.”

“We heard the last school marm got hitched.” Falcon kept chomping away. “But we can’t spare you. You’re keeping us alive and you’re the best cook I ever heard tell of, and that’s sayin’ something because my first wife Patsy was a wonder with ’possum stew.”

Molly had never eaten ’possum, nor did she want to. But she tried to keep the disgust off her face. “I’m sure you’ll be fine. Win is a good cook and Cheyenne, well, she works so hard outside it stands to reason she wouldn’t have developed cooking skills, but you won’t starve.”

“No,” Falcon said, grinning. “But we might want to.”

Ida Brownley snatched up her pretty white cloth napkin and used it to cover her face. She tried to make it sound like she was coughing, but Molly was sure the woman was laughing.

“She’s your wife.” The parson was rubbing his mouth rather furiously. “You might want to be more positive in your—your—comments about her cooking.”

“She’s the best wife a man ever had.” For the first time Falcon seemed upset. “Whether she’s a cook or not ain’t nuthin’ that I’d ever judge her on.”

The parson nodded and Kevin went on. “We know you got hired, because we asked around town while we were looking for you, and we also learned that school doesn’t start until next Monday.”

“Looked high and low. Figured you’d been taken away by some outlaw.” Wyatt sounded grim.

“So please, Molly, please—” Kevin drew the word out for several seconds, “come home with us. We’d like your company until you start school.”

“We honestly want you back full time,” Falcon said. “Can you make that custard again tomorrow?”

Molly balled up her napkin but refrained from throwing it at him. Falcon smirked, almost like he knew exactly what she was thinking.

Wyatt added, “Your brother is asking nice, but you are going home right now.”

“I don’t like seeing you all pressuring her.” Mrs. Brownley lost all trace of humor.

Wyatt looked at Mrs. Brownley. “We all feel mighty bad that we weren’t kind enough to her that now she wants to leave us. It’s me especially. I’ve been ailin’ and all the work doctoring me fell to her.”

He looked across the table at Molly. “Did I ever thank you?”

Molly heard the guilt in his voice. Saw the sincerity in his eyes. She felt herself weakening, blast it all.

“I’ve been so impatient to be well, I’m sure I snapped and snarled like a cur dog, by way of letting you know you saved my life.”

Kevin, next to her, rested one of his strong hands on her back.

Wyatt went on, “Your knowledge and care are a miracle straight from God. I feel like the worse kind of sinner to have done something to drive you away.”

To say he hadn’t driven her away, would make Kevin blame himself. To say he had driven her away, would make Wyatt feel awful. Falcon just kept chewing, eating fast as if he knew they’d have to leave soon and wanted to fill his belly.

He swallowed, grinned and said, “Don’t blame me. I didn’t do nothing wrong.”

Molly narrowed her eyes and uncharitably wished he’d choke on a turnip.

Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a signed copy of Love on the Range.

I don’t have my authors copies yet.

But soon and I’ll send the book winging it’s way to you.

Love on the Range

Book #3 of Brothers in Arms

While his brothers and their new wives search for who shot him, Wyatt Hunt is temporarily bedridden and completely miserable. Somehow Molly Garner’s limited skills have made her the most qualified in their circle to care for Wyatt. But by the time he’s healed, she’s fed up with him and the whole ungrateful family. For even worse than his grumpiness were the few unguarded moments when he pulled at her heartstrings, and she has been long determined to never repeat her mother’s mistakes.

When alternate plans of finding her own independent life fall through, Molly volunteers to work for the Pinkertons and help investigate nearby ranch owner Oliver Hawkins. She signs on to be his housekeeper, hoping to find clues to prove his nefarious, and possibly murderous, past. Wyatt refuses to let her risk it alone and offers to act as Hawkins’s new foreman.

But when another Pinkerton agent gets shot, they realize Hawkins isn’t the only danger. The Hunt brothers will have to band together to face all the troubles of life and love that suddenly surround them.



We Have a Winner for Karen Kay’s E-book

Good Evening!

Hope y’all have had a lovely day!

A drawing was done and we have a winner for a free e-book of BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER.

And the winner is:


Congratultaions go out to Quilt Lady and I hope you will contact me at karenkay(dot)author(at)startmail(dot)com and we’ll work together to get the book to you.

Also, don’t forget the book is on sale now until September 17th at Google Paly at 20% off.  You will need a coupon and that coupon is GUGZUW22LH4U1.  Here’s the link to the book at Google:  https://tinyurl.com/uavkxz4

Have a pleasant and enjoyable rest of the evening, and again, I loved talking to each and every one of you!

Gratitude Basket Winners

Again, we want to thank you for sticking with us through our recent technical difficulties. We planned to give away 7 gratitude baskets, but we were so moved by all the responses we read, we decided to give away 8 Tea & Cookies baskets! The recipient of these baskets are:

Carolyn Seeliger
Trudy C.

Tonya Lucas
Barbara Denniston
Debbie J. Pruss
Debra Guyette
Sherry Masters

Each of you ladies should be hearing from one of our Fillies soon. Hope you enjoy cozying up with some tasty goodies and a great read!

BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER — Another Excerpt and Give-Away


Welcome to another terrific Tuesday!  Hope y’all are doing well today.

I’ll be giving away a free e-book of BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER today.  You only have to leave a thought on the post in order to enter into the drawing.

And I thought I’d leave you with another excerpt from the book.  Hope you’ll enjoy it!



Karen Kay


Summer, 1879

The Season of Festivals

The Forks of the Big and Little Piney Creeks



As he stood within the great circle of the many camps, the boy, Maká Cí?ala, Little Skunk, squared his shoulders and raised his head, ready to receive the honors that were due him.  As was tradition, all the tribes of the Lakota people were gathered together for the summer races, games and festivals.  Although it was only midday, all of his family surrounded him in the center of the circle, and, as was also tradition, his band’s highest chief, Kicízapi Wa?té, Good Fight, held the two eagle feathers that Little Skunk was to receive.

Little Skunk was proud both of himself and his nation, the ?kpap?a, which he represented.  Although he was only twelve winters old, he was already acting as a man—he’d been a scout for several of the war parties this summer and had brought many honors to his family.  But this…  This was an accomplishment a boy of his age had never before won: for the past two days, he had competed with adults in his tribe’s foot races, and he’d won every event.

It was a bright day, and a warm one, with the afternoon sun shining upon him as though to touch him with the care and respect of a father.  He felt the tender sunlight on the top of his head and shoulders, and he held his head high.  Then, the drums began to beat, and the singers commenced to chant the honoring song.

Holding up the two feathers to the wind, the chief, Kicízapi Wa?té, said, “Today, Maká Cí?ala becomes a man.  He has gained the highest achievement in our foot races, and, because he has bested even the greatest men amongst us, he has won the right to earn himself a new name.  In honor of this great occasion, Maká Cí?ala’s grandfather, Waki?ya? Paza Tosa?, Blue Thunder Striking, has given his name to his grandson, who shall bear his name with great honor.”

The old chief paused as Little Skunk’s mother stepped forward to offer the chief a newly-made blanket, which the chief accepted.  He nodded and, opening the blanket, threw it around Little Skunk’s shoulders before offering the two eagle feathers to him.  “Blue Thunder Striking,” the chief said, “we of the ?kpap?a know that, from this day forward, we will look to you for many good deeds.  I give you these feathers to forever tell of your accomplishments.”  The old chief smiled at Little Skunk, then said in closing, “The honoring ceremony is now done.”

Blue Thunder’s mother and aunties stepped forward to give him the hand-stitched quilts that had been several months in the making.  Blue Thunder smiled and accepted the many gifts from them.  Traditionally, these blankets were not his to keep; rather, he was to give them to the people to honor his deeds this summer.  Stepping lively toward the side of the circle where people were sitting, he paced around it, offering the gifts to as many people as he could reach until all but one of the gifts was left.  This present was special, for he had made it himself.  This gift was for her.

Ci?cá Wací, Dancing Child, was about two winters younger than he.  But, though the distance between their ages might have been great for their young hearts, Blue Thunder couldn’t recall a time when he hadn’t loved her.

Her mother came from the Brulé band of the Lakota.  However, because her mother didn’t live with the Brulé, he saw Ci?cá Wací only during the summer when she was visiting her grandmother.

He still remembered the first time he had seen her.  He had been seven winters that summer and she, five, and he remembered it as a great occasion, for her grandmother had made a miniature lodge and given it to Ci?cá Wací:


She had invited him to play with her in the miniature tepee, and he’d accepted his role in her game as being her pretend husband.  That day, as soon as he’d ducked down to enter the lodge, he had seen that she had placed two different dolls upon small, buckskin blankets within the little tepee.

She had cautioned him to remain silent, since the dolls were “sleeping.”  Then, she’d gone to the women’s side of the tepee and had made a “soup” consisting of water and berries which she had served him in a large turtle shell.  From her tanned skin to her nearly-black eyes and the two dark-haired braids which fell down her back, she had captivated him, and his young heart had rejoiced.

They had played then, pretending to be married, and had continued their game into the coming days of summer.  Indeed, at summer’s close, he had begun to think of her as his wife in reality.  And, on that late summer day when she had told him she was to leave the next day, he had been so distressed, he’d said to her, “Since you are my wife, I would like to give you a gift before you go.”

She giggled and looked away.

“Well, what do you say?”

She stared up at him, her black eyes round and big, and smiled at him.  “I would like that.”

He didn’t know what to give her and, in the end, handed her the only possession that was truly his—a single strand of white deerskin with an image of a lone, blue prairie flower upon it.  He had, himself, painted the picture of the flower on the slender string.

Taking hold of the deerskin from her, he tied it as a necklace at the back of her neck, then said, “It is yours now.  I will never ask for it back.”

As she smoothed her hand over the necklace, she said, “I will love this and treasure it all my life.”

“Wa?cá Skúya, Sweet Flower; it is your new name in honor of this gift.  I give it to you.  It is a good name and is a better name than Dancing Child.  Tell your people.  It is your new name.”

“You give me great honor, and I will tell my people.”

From that day forward he had addressed her as Sweet Flower.  That her own people had still called her Dancing Child hadn’t caused him any worry, for he’d always known someday he would make her his wife, and, when that day came, she would become known as Sweet Flower.


At last, he found her in the crowd of people and, stepping near her, grinned at her.

She smiled while looking down, then said, “I am very proud of you.”

He laughed.  “As well you should be.”

Once again, she smiled.

Taking her hand in his, he led her toward the side of the crowd, out of view from most of the people.  As soon as they reached a private spot, he turned to her and said, “I have a special gift for you.”

Her smile widened, and she looked down as a proper, young Lakota maiden was expected to do, her demeanor shy.

“Hold out your hand,” he said, reaching into a bag and extracting something from it.

She did so, and he placed two strings of blue, white and pink-beaded earrings in her hand.

“For me?”

Hau, hau.  There is a woman from the Oglala tribe who makes the owi?la like these.  When I saw the earrings she was creating, I knew I had to make a pair for you.  She taught me how to do it.”

“They are very beautiful, and I love them,” she said. “I will always love them because they are so pretty and because you made them for me.  But, since I thought you might win today, I made something special for you, too.  If we go to my lodge, I will show you what I crafted for you this day.”

Hau, hau,” he said.  Then, because a man must always lead a girl and never walk behind her, he added, “Follow me.”

She did as he instructed.  As soon as they entered her little tepee, she stepped to the back of the lodge, and, turning so she faced him, she presented him with a recently-picked bouquet of flowers.  They were prairie violets and were very pretty.

As was the Indian way, she stared down at the floor of the tepee, which was little more than grass and dirt.  When he took the flowers from her and their hands touched, he felt so good inside, he knew he would love Sweet Flower always.

He said, “Have you any water, for I would keep them alive so they will always remind me of you.”

She laughed, then said, “I do have water, and it is in a pouch.  It will be perfect for them.  I give you not only the flowers, but my own parfleche bag.”  She giggled a little and looked away from him.

Carefully, he placed a finger under her chin and turned her face toward his own.  “Tell me, when we get older, will you marry me?”

Still not looking up at him, she said, “I will, if you would still want me to.”

He brought her chin up so she was forced to look into his eyes and said, “I will always want you to be my wife, for I would spend my life with you.  You are first in my heart, and I swear it will always be so.”

Ha?, ha?. I feel the same as you.”

He grinned at her. “Then let us commit ourselves to one another.  I wish we could marry now, but we are still too young.  Our parents would never allow it.”

“I know what we might do.”

“Hmm…”  He frowned.

“Let us tattoo one another with our own design,” she suggested.  “In this way we will always know we belong together.”

“This is a fine idea.”  He smiled.

She grinned back at him, then said, “I have a sharp bone that I use for sewing.  My grandmother gave it to me.  We might use it to prick our skin.”

“This is good,” he replied.  “And the violets you have given me will make a blue color for the tattoo.  But what design should we make?”

She shook her head.

“It should be simple, perhaps four small dots,” he said.  “One dot would show that we are of one mind; another could say we are of one heart.  The third dot might be one to indicate we will be of one body when we are older, and the fourth dot should be to signify that we have met soul to soul.”

She laughed and said, “What you say is pleasing to me.”

“Do you agree?”

“Oh yes,” she laughed.  “Always I will love you.”

“And I, you.”

“Stay here,” she said, “while I go to my grandmother and ask her to give me the sharp bone I use to sew.”

“I will.  But where should we put the tattoo?”

“Perhaps on the neck?”

“Maybe.  But, wherever we decide it should be, it must be in a place on our bodies that will be hard for others to see, for it is to be our secret…at least until we marry.”


“I know where we could put it: we will place this tattoo on the upper back, close to and within the hairline, so it will not be seen by others.  Yours will be on the right side, and mine will be on the left.”

She smiled up at him shyly.  “I will go at once to my grandmother and ask for my sharpened bone.  Will you wait here for me?”

Hau, I will.”  He looked at her longingly.  “I would wait a lifetime for you.”

She giggled and bent to leave the little lodge to run to her grandmother’s tepee.  Soon, she returned with the prized bone she used for sewing.

As the afternoon turned to evening, they etched their tattoos onto each other, the small dots hidden by their hairlines.  When, at last, it was done, he reached out to take her hand in his own.

“It is done,” he said.  “We are married now, and someday soon we will be old enough to live together so others will know we two are of one heart.”

Shyly, she smiled at him and said, “Ha?, it is done, and I am glad of it.  With all my heart, I will always love you.”


BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER is now on sale at Google Play for 20% off with the coupon:  GUGZUW22LH4U1

BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER:  Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/4k6ahyfr

KOBO: https://tinyurl.com/3abxfuh

B & N: https://tinyurl.com/exadvx7n

Google:  https://tinyurl.com/uavkxz4

ITUNES: https://tinyurl.com/w2z7adxk

The Thermos that Saved the Day

First, this is my inaugural post. I’m so glad to be here. I’ve posted as a guest a few times, but to be included as a Filly has been humbling and I’m grateful and thankful.

In case we’ve never met, I write a whole host of things including historical Christian westerns, contemporary romance and romantic suspense, and women’s fiction under the name Teri Blake. I look forward to getting to know you all better.

Great Lakes Light book cover

On Friday, my new book Great Lakes Light will release in the same series as 2 other Fillies, Kit Morgan and Shanna Hatfield. I don’t want to give away too much of this story, but this is a fictionalized account of how the Split Rock Lighthouse came to be. Some aspects of the story are complete fiction, others are drawn from resources (and I offer a complete source list in the back of the book). You’ll want to preorder it before Friday, as the preorder price will go away when it publishes. I just LOVE that my designer was able to use a real image of the lighthouse.

Have you ever read a bit of history and been completely blown away? Such was the case for me. I love my insulated water and coffee tumblers, those metal mugs used to keep drinks warm or cold for hours. Did you know that the first one was created in 1892!! I didn’t either! Even though this is the period I write most often, I’m always blown away by their inventiveness and ingenuity.

Because I was so amazed, I absolutely had to include a Thermos (though it went by various names before settling on that one, as things often do) in this story. And it was perfect because at the time of my story, there was only one store that sold the illustrious thermos and it was in New York. Since the entire middle of the book actually takes place in Washington D.C… a congressman would certainly have access to one…and it just might save him. But you’ll have to read the story to find out how.

Image of original thermos

Interestingly, these containers didn’t come into existence to keep coffee warm for the men working on the huge skyscrapers being built at the time in New York. They were originally created by a mortician who realized he needed to keep chemicals at a stable temperature. The original (used for embalming) thermos, was glass with a vacuum between the two layers. It was his glassblower who realized the commercial prospects, created a patent, and sold it to three US companies.

Do you use a thermos? I have two different one, one for the water I drink all day and one I bought on my last trip to Deadwood, SD that keeps my morning coffee hot. Drop your answer below and I’ll ship out a print copy of Great Lakes Light to one lucky commenter.

Caryl McAdoo Has a Winner!

Thank you so much for coming to visit us again, Miss Caryl! We loved your post and talking about the Piney Woods.

Now for the drawing that’s a bit later than normal.

The person to get an ebook copy of GONE TO TEXAS is……………


Woo-Hoo!! I’m so happy for you, Megan! Now, watch for Miss Caryl’s email and check Spam if you don’t see it.

Everyone come back tomorrow and meet new Filly Kari Trumbo!! The problems last week postponed that.

Apologies for Technical Difficulties & Thank You Gift

You might have noticed that our Petticoats & Pistols site was experiencing some technical difficulties last week. It was a bumpy ride, and we got bucked off several times, but I’m happy to announce that we are back in the saddle and ready to ride again now that we have a new server big enough to support all of our western love.

Because we hate to disappoint our readers in any way, the Fillies got together and decided to offer gratitude baskets to express how much we appreciate your patience and loyalty. Since we’re all book lovers here, and since fall is fast approaching, we thought it would be fun to offer baskets with a Tea & Cookie theme. What goes better with a good book than a cozy cup of tea and a sweet treat to nibble on?

Thank You Prizes

For a chance to win one of the SEVEN gratitude baskets, leave a comment about something you’re thankful for.
Winners will be drawn at random and announced on Tuesday, September 14.

Thank you for sticking with us!

Texas Timber & TEXAS TIMBERS with Caryl McAdoo

Please welcome guest author Caryl McAdoo to Petticoats & Pistols.

My home is The Peaceable, a twenty-acre wooded property about five miles south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County, in far Northeast Texas. This area is sometimes called the “Piney Woods” part of the State. Almost anytime I get out, I pass several lumber businesses, and usually an eighteen-wheeler or three loaded with cut timber as well. (I don’t like to drive behind them!)

As soon as pioneers began to settle Texas, timber proved to be a valuable resource, then right after the Texas Revolution in the spring of 1836, the lumber production increased steadily in the new Republic. By the 1860s, there were reportedly two hundred sawmills in the state. The construction of rails across East Texas ushered in another boom of the Texas timber industry in the 1880s.

From the time my parents brought me to Texas from my California beginnings (a six-month-old in 1950), until March of 2008 when we move to Red River County, I lived in Northwest Dallas and Irving which falls within the Cross Timbers which stretches from Kansas, through Oklahoma, and down as far south as Central Texas.


In Texas, the forest regions run in two narrow, parallel strips, separating the Black Prairies in the east from the Grand Prairies in the west, from the Red River to the Brazos where the woods play out.

The average width of the Eastern Cross Timbers, which includes Dallas, is around fifteen miles. The eastern strip’s soil is more fertile than the western, lending not only to larger trees but a wider variety and more dense undergrowth.

In the early days the Cross Timbers was a famous landmark and quite difficult for the settlers to get through due to its density. Besides log cabins and providing firewood, the trees served another important function. They prevented rainwater from running off, letting it soak in for the hundreds of wells pioneers dug!

I lived in these timbers for fifty-eight years, then moved to the piney woods. Is it any wonder that a lot of my stories are set in both? My second family saga is named for them, the Cross Timbers Romance series, and is set in the area along the Delaware Creek (that later became Irving) and downtown Dallas.


Book seven just released September 3rd! It’s title? Why, TEXAS TIMBERS!

It’s heroine, Autumn Hope, has had prophetic dreams since she was a child (LEAVING TEXAS, book four), and God has been showing her a man in a dream. She kisses him in the night vision, so figures he must be her husband. The Lord also shows her where he’s working down in the Sulphur River bottoms cutting bois d’arc, too.

She’s deadest on going to find him to convince him she should be his wife. Sean O’Farrell, of course, is a timber man through and through and pretty much thinks she’s crazy.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading the fun story! It’s available HERE



I’d love to gift one of my commenters an eBook copy of book one in the Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga, GONE TO TEXAS! Just tell me where you live and what’s special about your area!  I pray you’ll be blessed!


 Award-winning, Christian author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory. Of her best-selling novels, readers love her historical Christian romance family sagas most, but also enjoy her Christian contemporary romances, Biblical fiction stories, her new mystery series, and tales for young adults and mid-grade booklovers. The far majority of reviewers award her stories five-stars and praise Caryl’s characters, feeling as though they get to know them well.

The prolific writer loves singing the new songs God gives her almost as much as penning new novels—hear a few at YouTube! She’s been married to Ron fifty-three years. They share four children and twenty-one grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.


Amazon – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo?follow=true

Website: http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com

Newsletter: http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1hQx6UZbWi3OYwmKKxh6Q

(Hear Caryl sing her New Songs!)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author




Dickens in Texas

The two most powerful words in a writer’s vocabulary are: What if? When it came time for me to brainstorm a new Christmas novella idea, my mind turned to the classics and those powerful two words – what if . . .

What if . . . the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol took place in 1890’s Texas instead of early 1800’s London?

What if . . . Scrooge’s transformation story was a romance?

What if . . . there was a London, TX? Oh, wait. There is!

What happened next was a whirlwind of fun that is now available as A Texas Christmas Carol the first story in the new collection – Under the Texas Mistletoe.

I had so much fun with names of all my characters, paying homage to the classic tale. There’s even a dog named Humbug.

Meet Evan Beazer and Felicity Wiggins (named in honor of the cheerful Fezziwig).

Our Scrooge never stood a chance when the tenderhearted, cheerful Felicity set her sights on him.


“Don’t worry,” Felicity said with a soft chuckle, “I won’t let Mr. Beazer trample over me. My backbone is strong enough to withstand a few snaps and growls.”

Margaret led the way to the stairs leading out of the church basement, tossing a frown over her shoulder. “It’s your time, I suppose. If you choose to waste it, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Evan Beazer might be the wealthiest man in town, but he’s a Scrooge of the worst order. Not only does he refuse to donate to any of our causes, but he insults anyone with the temerity to approach him.”

She paused at the top of the stairway and braced a hand against the wall as she turned to face Felicity. “He called me a blood-sucking leech and threatened to have me brought up on trespassing charges should I ever darken his door again.” Margaret, her face usually placid and lovely, scrunched her nose as if the memory were so rancid she could smell it. “The gall of him. He might dutifully leave his tithe in the collection plate every Sunday to keep his conscience clean, but he refuses to donate so much as a penny to any cause beyond that obligation, no matter how worthy. He’s a tight-fisted, coldhearted man. Completely void of compassion. Why, you could wring him like a dishrag, and not a single drop of Christian charity would fall out. His soul is as dry as a bone.”

Mrs. Talley was a dynamo when it came to getting things done, a blessing to any committee she served upon, but she had definite opinions about how things should go and didn’t react well when thwarted.

Felicity patted her arm. “There is nothing the least bit leech-like about you, Margaret. You probably just caught him on a bad day.”

The deacon’s wife arched a brow. “Every day is a bad day for Evan Beazer.”

Not every day. Felicity ducked her head, recalling one day in particular where Mr. Beazer had been in rare, heroic form.

Pushing the distracting thought aside, Felicity winked at her friend as she marched past. “I recognize the challenge he presents, but I’m determined to try anyway. With the passing of dear Mrs. Humbolt this year, our donation total is down by a third. I can suffer through a few insults if it means more shoes and winter coats for the children. Besides, forewarned is forearmed. Thanks to you, I know what kind of reception to expect, so I can plan accordingly. And believe it or not, I can be rather devious when I put my mind to it.”

“You? Devious?” Margaret shook her head, a huff of a laugh escaping. “Felicity, you don’t have a dishonest bone in your body.”

“Oh, I don’t plan any trickery,” Felicity said, turning to face Margaret while continuing to walk backward down the hall leading to the main sanctuary. “In fact, my strategy comes straight from scripture itself.”


Felicity nodded, a grin spreading across her face. “Remember the parable Jesus told about the man who kept knocking on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night asking for bread in Luke 11? The neighbor kept trying to turn him away, but the man persisted, and eventually he got his bread. I plan to employ the same technique.” Mischief swirled in her belly, stirring up an excitement she couldn’t quite contain. “I’m going to pester him into cooperation.”

Margaret let out a full laugh. “If anyone can do it, it’s you.”

Felicity prayed she was right. Not just for the children’s sake, but for Mr. Beazer himself. The man never smiled. How awful it must be to be so miserable! She couldn’t imagine a world void of happiness. But then, she’d been blessed with a cheerful family who laughed and teased and actively looked for reasons to celebrate. Mr. Beazer had no one meaningful in his life beyond a handful of local staff and a conglomeration of distant employees. The man needed a strong dose of joy in his life, and she was prepared to hold his nose and force a spoonful of medicinal Christmas cheer down his throat, if necessary.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook
(Christian Book version contains exclusive bonus short story!)

What are your favorite classic Christmas stories?
If you could change the setting or characters in one of them, how would you change it?