Mind Yer Manners

Is it just me or have good manners gone the way of trail drives?   I have three grandchildren working summer jobs and I’m appalled at the stories they tell about customer rudeness.

It didn’t always used to be that way.  Back in the Old West, manners ruled.  A cowboy might have been rough around the edges and whooped-it-up on occasion, but he also knew his Ps and Qs.  To show you what I mean, let’s compare today’s manners with those of the past.

Hitting the Trail:  Navigating some of today’s roads is like steering through a metal stampede. It’s every man/woman for his/her self.  Cars ride on your tail and cut you off. To stay on the defense, today’s drivers must contend with drunkenness, speeding and texting—and that ain’t all.  If this doesn’t make you long for the good ole days, I don’t know what will.

The Cowboy Way: When riding a horse, a cowboy would never think of cutting between another rider and the herd.  Nor would he ride in such a way as to interfere with another man’s vision. Crossing in front of another without a polite, “Excuse me” would not have been tolerated.  As for riding drunk; that would have gotten a wrangler fired on the spot.

Please and Thank You:  Recently I saw a young man hold a restaurant door open for a young woman.  Instead of saying thank you, she chewed him out. Oh, me, oh, my. What is the world coming to?

The Cowboy Way: The first man coming to a gate was expected to open it for the others. Everyone passing through would say thank you.  Holding a door open for a lady went without saying, as did tipping his hat and saying a polite, “Howdy, ma’am.” Back in the old days, a cowboy might have gotten a smile from the lady, but he sure wouldn’t have gotten a tongue-lashing.

Cell Phones: I could probably rattle on about poor cell phone manners, but for me, loud talking is the worst offense.  During a recent visit to the emergency room, I was privy to every patient’s medical condition and more. 

The Cowboy Way: Those early cowboys didn’t have cell phones, of course, which is probably a good thing; A ringing phone would have startled the cattle and maybe even the horses.  John Wayne wasn’t talking about cell phones when he said, “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much,” but that’s not bad advice.  Especially in the ER.

So what do you think?  Are good manners a thing of the past or are they still very much alive?



How the West Was Fun!






Think Like a Horse: 10 Favorite Cowboy Sayings


Kathryn Albright Kathryn Albright &Margaret Brownley

Margaret Brownley

wish Petticoats and Pistols

a Rip-Roarin’,

Yippee Ki-Yay

Son-of-a-Gun Birthday


To help celebrate, we decided to share some of our favorite words

to live by–cowboy style!

So pull up a log to sit on, prop yer feet by the fire,

and consider the wisdom of the West ~

Kathryn’s Favorites:
(It’s so hard to choose only five! There are so many good ones.)


1.  Before you go into a canyon, know how you’ll get out.     
2.  Never straddle a fence. Build one, or tear it down.
3.  You can’t tell how good a man or a watermelon is till you thump’em.
4.  If you want to stay single, look for the perfect woman.
5.  A mail-order marriage is trickier’n braidin’ a mule’s tail.

Margaret’s Favorites:

1.  You don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited.
2.  Too little temptation can lead to virtue.
3.  If you come home with a hair on your vest, you better have a horse to match.
4.  Love your enemies, but keep your gun oiled.
5.  Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.

Now it’s your turn.  What are your favorite words to live by?

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card

(in celebration of our 10 years here!)


P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway. You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.


Running from trouble, Maggie McCary signs up to be a mail-order bride.

She doesn’t intend to actually marry…but one sensational kiss changes her mind!

Mail-Order Brides of Oak GroveAmazon



There’s a new sheriff in town and she almost always catches her man!

A Match Made in Texas






Karen's Winner of A Match Made in Texas!!!

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MatchMadeInTexas-coverMy son was handy, so I asked him to pick a number at casino online random, and the lucky winner is . . .

Steph J

Congratulations, Steph!!! You”ve won a copy of A Match Made in Texas.
I”ll be emailing you soon to get your address.
Big thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat. I loved hearing all those wonderful “sounds” of the west.

Old Time Fiddle Music and Giveaway!!!

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The Devil Went Down to GeorgiaEver since I was a child and first heard the iconic Charlie Daniels  hit, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, nothing has captured the “sound” of the west to me like fiddle music. I can remember first hearing that song on a country western station on the car radio as our family drove through central California. No one in our family really listened to country music by choice, but it was the only station that would come in. Well, when I heard it, the story embedded in the song captivated me as much as the lightning fast fiddle music. What little girl wouldn’t love the story about how Johnny beat the devil by playing a better fiddle?

When I started creating the Archer brothers, I wanted each to have a distinctive personality, which meant different hobbies and interests. Travis was the overprotective, workaholic older brother. Crockett had a passion for preaching and a practical interest in doctorin’. Jim had his wood-working. And little brother Neill? He played the fiddle.

Neill put up with his brothers teasing him about his cat screechin’ and even let big brother Travis relegate him to the barn whenever he wanted to practice. None of it discouraged him, thouCowboy Fiddlegh, because music was in his soul, and he was determined to master the fiddle his father had once played. Once he developed enough skill, he started playing in public–first for his brothers on their secluded ranch, and then in town for dances and shindigs. He even started carting it around with him when he traveled, tying the case to his saddle.

Once Neill’s brothers started marrying and having their own families, the urge to make his own way in the world and prove his manhood became too strong to ignore. So he left home and journeyed farther west, earning money in whatever way he could, his fiddle his only company on the trail. After two years, he stumbled across the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas and a shotgun-toting widow who changed his life forever.

MatchMadeInTexas-coverNeill and Clara’s story can be found in the novella collection, A Match Made in Texas, and you can bet Neill’s fiddle plays a key role in the tale. Fellow filly, Mary Connealy, has a story in the collection as well, so you know it’s going to be a fun one!

Just to make it even more fun, I’m going to give away a copy of A Match Made in Texas to one lucky reader today. Leave me a comment about what sounds bring the west alive for you, and I’ll enter you in the drawing.

And did you know that old time fiddle music still exists today? There are national competitions and everything. Old time fiddle music (dating from the 1800’s) is different from bluegrass (which came together as a separate genre in the 1940’s), although you will find similarities in style.

Here’s a little Old Time Fiddle Music to get your toes tapping:

Favorite Brother Combinations

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In just a few weeks, my last Archer brother story will be hitting the shelves. I have to admit that a part of me is sad to be saying goodbye to these proud, Texas men. All named for heroes from the Alamo – Travis, Crockett, Jim, and Neill have battled since their boyhood to protect their land and each other at all cost. . . until a woman found her way onto the secluded ranch and changed everything.

Archer Composite 2

Travis and Jim found their happily ever after in Short-Straw Bride, Crockett found his with an outlaw’s daughter in Stealing the Preacher, and now it’s Neill’s turn as part of the novella collection, A Match Made in Texas.

In honor of the Archer brothers, I thought I’d share with you, the three sets of fictional brothers who most inspired the creation of the Archers.

First – The Pontipee brothers from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

SevenBrides-Pontipee Bros.


This is one of my favorite musicals, and much of inspiration for Short-Straw Bride came from this movie and the brothers’ relationships.





Next – The Cartwright brothers from Bonanza!

Cartwright Bros



I grew up watching reruns of this classic western series and had a huge crush on big brother, Adam Cartwright. He looks good all in black, doesn’t he?




Finally – The McMurray brothers from Jodi Thomas’s Whispering Mountain series.

Texas Rain




Travis, Teagan, and Tobin McMurray are hard workin’, hard fightin’ Texas men who instantly won my heart. Their childhood struggles lent inspiration to the situation my Archer brothers faced.







  • Who are some of your favorite fictional brothers – or perhaps men that are as close as brothers?
  • Fellow Filly, Mary Connealy, has a fun story in the novella collection as well. Do you enjoy reading novella collections? Have you ever found a new favorite author by reading a collection?


Be looking for Neill Archer’s story January 1st!

A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer in A Match Made in Texas MatchMadeInTexas-cover

Tired of living in the shadow of his older brothers, Neill Archer leaves the family ranch, determined to prove himself his own man. After two years of doing everything from laying railroad track to driving cattle, he’s nearly saved enough to purchase his own spread. While passing through a small town in the Texas panhandle, a handwritten ad literally falls into his lap during the local church service and convinces Neill that God is steering him toward his next job.

There are two things Clara Danvers cannot hide—her grandmother’s Comanche blood and her hugely pregnant stomach. After her husband got himself shot cheating at cards six months back, she has worked hard to make the shabby cabin he’d left behind truly hers. But there are some things a pregnant woman can’t repair, and a leaky roof is one of them. When a handsome cowboy shows up at her door with a tale about a nameless woman hiring him to fix her roof, she’s suspicious but desperate enough to let him work.

Scarred by the men who have failed her in the past, Clara is forced to trust the stranger when danger threatens her child. Neill might prove to be an able protector, but can she trust him with the battered remains of her heart?