The Value of Animals in Stories

Linda Broday

I’m filling in for Phyliss today and still talking about my new release – A Cowboy of Legend. Hope you’re not tired of it.

I just love putting kids and animals in my stories because they add whole other levels of emotion and depth. They’re such a great literary device in that you can show a lot about characters without really coming out and stating it. And they certainly entertain the reader.

Mostly, I’ve written in the normal dog, cat, horse, and mule. Although I did put a raccoon named Bandit in The Mail Order Bride’s Secret.

In this story, I added a little spider monkey named Jesse James. He’s dressed as a cowboy right down to a small gun and holster. Each time he yanks his gun out and fires, a puff of smoke comes out the barrel. I laughed so hard writing his scenes.

And then, he leaps onto the cat Sarge’s back and the war is on.

Jesse James arrives at the Three Deuces Saloon in Fort Worth’s Hell’s Half Acre and Deacon Brannock is sure he’s hit on a gold mine. Folks flock in from everywhere to watch the lunch and supper shows. Just wait until he gets his hands on a real loaded pistol……

Here’s a short excerpt:

Harry muttered something that sounded like, “That little shit,” and hurried to get the monkey away from a customer’s plate where it was cramming food into its mouth. “JESSE JAMES!”

Clearly no love lost between them, the monkey chattered, shaking a finger at Harry. As the skinny bartender grew closer, Jesse James yanked a little pistol from his holster, and shot, all the while chattering and shrieking fit to wake the dead. The miniature gun gave a little pop and discharged smoke. The customers were laughing hysterically.

Deacon watched, entranced. This could have money pouring in. People would flock from all over to watch the hairy little outlaw with the perfect name.

Land. He saw his piece of land.

Just as Harry closed in to capture the monkey, Jesse James leaped from table to table then the long bar. As he reached for a full bottle of whiskey, Clyde clapped sharply, and the monkey clambered down and back onto the man’s shoulder.

* * * *

In the book I just finished that will be out early in 2022, I added a talking parrot named Casanova. He’s even funnier than Jesse James. Plus, he plays dead. Who knows what I’ll come up with next. Maybe a lion. Now there’s a thought.

What pets have you had? Anything exotic? I’m giving away a copy (ebook or autographed paperback) to someone who leaves a comment.

Giveaway rules apply.

Here’s the book trailer for your enjoyment.

The Gilded Age and The Temperance Society

The turn of the century when the 1800s merged with the 1900s was called The Gilded Age among other names. It was an era of great economic growth and the world changed very rapidly, especially in the transportation and industrial sectors. Women were fighting for the right to vote and to have a say in the running of the country, to end social injustice. As they cried out for and demanded change a lot of women’s organizations sprang up.

One such organization was the American Temperance Society who advocated against liquor. They were led by women such as Carrie Nation whose first husband died of alcoholism. Carrie attracted a lot of followers who marched and carried signs decrying the evils of drink.

These women eventually became known as “Hatchettes” due to the fact they’d march into saloons carrying hatchets and destroy the place. It was a wild time and women were fed up being treated as second-class citizens and being abused (or killed) by their drunken spouses.

Grace Legend in A Cowboy of Legend joins the temperance movement and sees a hero in Carrie Nation. One of her childhood friends was beaten to death by her drunk husband so Grace sees this movement as one that will define her life.

She’s living in Fort Worth, Texas with her brother who’s trying to keep her out of trouble and not having much luck. As a baby in “The Heart of a Texas Cowboy” she was a sassy little thing and as an adult she’s headstrong, passionate, and determined to make her mark.

Tempers flare and sparks fly when she descends on Hell’s Half Acre and Deacon Brannock’s Three Deuces Saloon with signs, drums, and hatchets.

Having grown up with nothing, he’s worked long and hard for something to call his own and he’s not about to let these women take it from him.

But who is Deacon Brannock? Grace’s search yields no one in the state in Texas under that name. It has to be fake. If so why? What is he hiding?

And who is the young pregnant woman living above the saloon? A wife, mother, sister? Or maybe he’s holding her against her will. Grace wouldn’t put anything past him. He has a dangerous reputation and was questioned for the murder of one man. Who knows how many others he may have killed?

Yet, Grace is keeping secrets of her own as well. Her family would be furious if they knew what she was doing.

This story has a monkey named Jesse James, orphan boys, and a mystery.

A Cowboy of Legend releases a week from today on Tuesday the 27th.

I have two copies to give away. Just leave a comment answering my question. If you had lived back then, would you have joined one of these women’s organizations? Or tell me any organizations you have joined or are still a member of?

 Announcement

Once Upon a Mail Order Bride (ebook only) is on sale for $1.99 until close of day on Thursday, April 22! If you missed the fourth book of Outlaw Mail Order Brides, now is your chance to get it cheap.  

AMAZON  |  B&N  | APPLE  |  KOBO

 

It’s Yee-Haw Day!

Welcome to Yee-Haw Day, the once-a-month day we’ve reserved to share our news with you – all sorts of fun news!

So check out the post below to get the details on the kinds of things that make us go Yee-Haw!!

Karen Witemeyer

The e-single Inn for a Surprise releases tomorrow! YeeHaw!

This was originally part of The Kissing Tree novella collection and is now available as a stand-alone novella for as low as $1.99.

Amazon | Kobo | Christianbook

And to whet your appetite, I have a free prequel short story called The Keepsake available on my website. You can find it here.

Karen Kay

THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, the first book in a series of four, is on sale now for $.99.

** A hunted woman

** A forbidden love

** Time ticking down on an ancient curse.

THE LOST CLAN SERIES, Book #1.

Amazon

Linda Broday

Releasing on April 27th!

Book #1 Lone Star Legends series

Sparks fly when struggling saloon owner Deacon Brannock finds himself pitted against Grace Legend and the Temperance Society.

It’s anyone’s guess as to who’ll emerge as the winner.

 

 

AMAZON  |  B&N  |  APPLE  |  KOBO

Laura Drake

Hopefully book news soon (cross your fingers for me) but right now, I’m ecstatic to be taking my first trip in a year and a half! Next week I’ll be flying to Oregon to meet up with my two fishing buds –  we have over 20 years of memories! Fly fishing all day, and at night, it’s like a high school sleepover!

 

Cheryl Pierson

What a wonderful day we had here today! Hubby and I both have gotten both our shots, and daughter, son, and daughter-in-law have gotten their first one (plus, they’ve all three already had COVID last year!) We got together for Easter and “belated” March birthdays in our household. My hubby turned 70 on March 31, and my daughter-in-law, Kayla, celebrated her birthday on the 15th of March. Here’s what happened through Max (white lab) and Sammy’s (brown love-dog) eyes!

It’s so hard to wait. We haven’t seen them in so long! We’ll just be right here on our bed looking for them–maybe it’ll make them come faster!
They’re here! I will roll on the ground and kick my legs for joy!

 

Well, that didn’t last long enough! Everyone is leaving! Pooey!
I can’t believe it’s over! I did get a new bone today, though.
I’m tired. A fun day, but I’m worn out now. I’m getting very sleepy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m already gone, brother. So tired my tongue’s hanging out!

 

 

A good time was had by all. Happy Easter, everyone!

 

Kit Morgan

 

A Cover Reveal!

 

This was too pretty not to share! Autumn’s release date will be April 30th. I’ll be getting the book up for pre-order this week. In the mean time, feast your eyes! Love those spring time colors!

Your Laugh for the Day

We’re doing something a little fun several times through the year. It might be a Craft Project, how we breathe life into a hero, or any number of things. You just never know. We’re sort of calling it Pot Luck. This is my day and I’m going to tell you jokes. Keep your fingers crossed because I’m not very good at this. Hopefully, you’ll find them worth a chuckle.

Okay, here we go……

A man and wife went to their lake cabin for a little R&R. It was a beautiful day and not a cloud in the sky, so the husband decided to go fishing in his rowboat.

After several hours with not much to show, he rowed in and tied up, telling his wife he was going to take a nap.

Now, the wife liked to read romance and she thought how perfect it would be to drift along in the boat. If she got too hot she could take a dip. So she rowed out a little ways from the shore where she could get a nice breeze and picked up her story where she’d left off. The hero cowboy was having a time getting his little darling to the altar.

She drifted along in the little rowboat and turned the pages, totally engrossed.

Pretty soon, a game warden came by and asked to see her fishing license.

“But warden, I’m not fishing. You can see the poles are inside the boat. Besides, I don’t like to fish. They’re smelly and I don’t like touching them. I’m just sitting here reading my book, not bothering one fish or one person.”

The warden looked stern. “That doesn’t matter. You have all the fishing equipment and could put the poles into the water if you choose. I’m going to have to write you a ticket.”

“I protest.”

“Then I’m afraid I’ll have to take you to jail, ma’am.”

“Let’s make it the sheriff’s office, warden. I’ll need to file a complaint.”

“May I ask what your business is? I’ve been as polite as I can and I’m following the law.”

“The charge will be for sexual assault.”

“You’re crazy. We’ve done nothing but talk. You still have your clothes on.”

She smiled sweetly. “But I’m sorry, Warden, you have all the right equipment.”

Flustered, he threw his ticket pad down. “Have a nice day, ma’am, and continue reading your book.”

* * * * * * *

What Do You Call a Happy Cowboy?  (a jolly rancher)

Why Did the Bowlegged Cowboy Get Fired?  (he couldn’t keep his calves together)

* * * * * * *

I hope you got a chuckle or two. I’m giving away one early copy (autographed) of A COWBOY OF LEGEND. It doesn’t come out until April 27th so you’ll be ahead of the game. I’ll draw from the people who comment and the Giveaway Rules apply – https://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules/.

Just tell me what makes you laugh. Or tell me a joke. I love to laugh.

 

Excuse Me, What’s Your Name?

This question wasn’t asked much on the American frontier and if you were so bold, you were liable to get shot. The old West offered a man a place to disappear into and leave behind whatever trouble he found himself in.

It was super easy and there was no way to check on anything. No telephone. No internet. No Social Security numbers. Nothing. It was perfect.

There were probably hundreds of men back then looking to change their identities and disappear and did. Outlaws checked into hotels and boardinghouses under an alias as did some politicians and famous people.

In my upcoming release, A Cowboy of Legend, Deacon Brannock has taken a fake name in order to disappear. All is well and good until firebrand Grace Legend marches into Hell’s Half Acre with burning determination to shut his saloon down. She’s a member of the Temperance Society and hellbent on running him out of business.

But, here’s the thing…Grace is also a reporter and writes a weekly column under an alias. Like a bloodhound, she discovers that Deacon Brannock is hiding a juicy secret. Oh, I love it!

A Cowboy of Legend contains a lot of secrets. Writing about secrets is fun for an author. Where there are secrets there’s conflict and those are what drives a story. I just love it when a book contains mysteries. I can’t turn the pages fast enough.

BLURB

Deacon Brannock is determined to make a name for himself and the saloon he’s worked his whole life to afford. He was prepared for the roughness of the Wild West, but he hadn’t counted on Grace Legend…

Grace has always fought passionately for what she believes in, and after her best friend is killed at the hands of her drunk, angry husband, that includes keeping alcohol out of her town. When the owner of the new saloon turns out to be a kind and considerate man, she can’t help but wonder if they could have a future together…if they weren’t on opposite sides of every issue.

This is Book 1 of a new series called Lone Star Legends and releases April 27th. Book 2 – A Cowboy Christmas Legend follows in Sept.

My question: If you could change your identity and disappear, would you? I think I’d chose to be Sierra or maybe Summer or Sapphire. What would you choose?

Oh my! These Sexy Men!

Something has happened to me. Used to, I never wrote a hero with facial hair. Not because I didn’t like it, but mainly because my editors wouldn’t let me. But in the last few books, my heroes have all had facial hair. I just love a man with a mustache and beard. My first husband had dark facial hair and I was the one who kept it trimmed close. I loved doing it though.

So, I started putting hair on my mens’ faces. It’s sexy and it kinda alludes to bad boys. Yum!

In the first book of my new series called Lone Star Legends, Deacon Brannock has a mustache and close-cropped beard. That comes out in April 2021. In the second book, the young Sam Legend has removed himself from everyone and looks like a shaggy mountain man through a lot of the story. One of the hottest scenes is of Cheyenne Ronan standing behind Sam, applying the sharp blade of the razor to his throat and so overcome she stops to give him an upside down kiss. I thought that was pretty sexy. That book releases Sept. 2021.

Of movie leading men, I’ve always adored Sean Connery’s close beard and mustache. That man makes my heart flutter big time. Here’s him, George Clooney and Sam Elliott.

              

 

I’m not too awfully fond of Sam Elliott’s bushier mustache but since he has the best deep voice, I don’t complain.

Hugh Jackman has nice facial hair as well as Chris Hemsworth and Bradley Cooper.

 

These are drop dead gorgeous!!

                   

 

But back to my own books. I already have the cover for A Cowboy of Legend that I can’t wait to show you when the time is right. Deacon Brannock will stir readers’ hearts. Betcha!

What about you? Do you like men with facial hair or without? Let’s take a vote!!