Dude Ranch Fun with Guest Author Caroline Clemmons

 

Please give a BIG Petticoats & Pistols Howdy to our Friday guest author Miss Clemmons!
She is giving away an e-copy of her latest book to TWO readers who leave a comment.
Here’s a short introduction for those of you who aren’t familiar with her or or books ~

 

Caroline Clemmons picThrough an illogical twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this inexplicable error, she writes about handsome cowboys,
feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave.
She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs.
The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author
and won several awards.

Yee Haw! Thanks to the fillies at Petticoats and Pistols for having me today.

Years ago my husband Hero, our two daughters, and I went to the Mayan Dude Ranch near Bandera, Texas. Our eldest daughter had been petitioning (hounding) us for a horse. We hoped the ranch would pacify her. Were we ever wrong!

We were assigned to one of their native stone cabins, which was spectacular. The girls shared a room with two beds and a western theme. Hero and I had a lovely room with a fireplace and comfortable seating as well as a great bed. You’ve never seen two girls so excited. Hmmm, make that three because I loved the experience, too. Hero, not so much, but he was a good sport.

 The Medina River flows through the approximately 350 acre ranch owned by the Hicks family. Trail rides follow the river at times and are led by the head wrangler. We were there in early June, and the scenery was lovely. On our trail ride there were several teen-aged boys cutting up at the back of the line. They were used to horses and decided to head for the barn ahead of the others. As they raced past our daughter, her horse took off with them.

Being new to horseback riding, she wasn’t able to control the horse, or so we thought. The wrangler yelled he’d get her and urged his horse after hers. When he returned to us, he said she was having too much fun and didn’t want to be rescued. This was not a good sign for our plan.

Each night there was themed entertainment. One night after being served TexMex dinner, the entertainment was girls doing the Mexican hat dance followed by a piñata for the children. They also had a singing cowboy with his guitar, a trick roper, and other western attractions. To add variety, this was held by the Texas-sized swimming pool, in the dining room, the dance hall, or other areas.

The food was delicious. Their dining room was well-appointed in western style. A hayride took us to the cowboy breakfast one morning. We also attended a western cookout one evening. Nearby is the Old West town of Hicksville, which was a treat. Small but authentic, there is a dance hall and a couple of other businesses. If you don’t know how to dance, they’ll teach you while a live band plays.

 

We were surprised there were guests there from all over the world. The Mayan enjoys a top reputation, both for food and accommodations. For us, though, the excellent service and accoutrements only added to our daughter’s desire to have a horse. Foiled again! At least we had a great time.

 

 

 

While I have your attention, let me tell you about my latest release, GARNET, book 9 of The Widows of Wildcat Ridge series.

Garnet Book Cover

The universal buy link at Amazon is http://getbook.at/garnetWOWR.  

Garnet Chandler is fighting to hold onto her café, her niece and nephew, and her sanity after the deaths of her husband, his brother, and his sister-in-law. A persistent prowler and the threat of losing custody of her niece and nephew spur her to action. She doesn’t need another man, but she needs a husband long enough to convince the children’s grandparents she can offer a stable home.

Bounty hunter Adam Bennett was ready to settle down when his friend was killed by a horse thief. He set out to capture the man who had also killed a guard when escaping prison. Adam must have let down his defenses because the man he followed and two cohorts waylaid Adam, beating him and stealing all his possessions before kicking him down a steep ravine. Adam is determined to capture the three as soon as he heals from their encounter.

Garnet and Adam join forces to achieve both their goals but will that be enough?

Here’s an excerpt when Adam first meets Garnet:

A loud rap at the back door startled her. She kept the curtains closed unless they were serving food and couldn’t see who had knocked.

Joey grabbed his stick. “Don’t answer it. Might be the robber there.”

She wiped her hands on her apron. “Or a friend who needs something.” Joey didn’t know the Colt was in her apron pocket. After taking a deep, bracing breath, she opened the door.

The dirtiest man she’d ever seen stood there. His beard was as dirty as his clothes. Fresh cuts showed through the mud on his face. He was tall and broad-shouldered but looked as if he could barely stand.

“Ma’am, my name is Adam Bennett. Please don’t be put off by my appearance. I was robbed up the mountain a ways and lost all my gear. I’m mighty hungry. If you need anything done, I’d like to work for a meal.”

Joey was by her side. “He isn’t the one from last night.” All the same, her nephew kept his pick handle in his hand.

“We’re the Chandlers. Come in and sit down. Wait, wash your hands and face at the sink first. You can’t handle food while you’re that filthy.”

While the man washed his hands, she filled a plate from leftovers and poured a cup of coffee. “Joey, please get my medicine box from upstairs.”

He leaned close. “I don’t think I should leave you alone while he’s here.”

Joey took being man of the family seriously. “Oh, all right. Hyacinth, would you get the medicine box for me?”

“How come he doesn’t have to and I do?” Usually sweet, Hyacinth was a bit spoiled and definitely jealous of her brother.”

“Because Mr. Bennett is injured and needs our help. Please hurry.”

Her niece stomped up the stairs while muttering under her breath, her golden curls bouncing with each step.

When Garnet glanced at the man, she saw he’d wolfed down his food. “I’ll get you more. How long since you’ve eaten?”

“Not sure how long I was in and out of consciousness up there. They attacked me on Saturday. What day is this?”

“Monday. No wonder you’re hungry.” She set another plate of food in front of him and refilled his cup.

What about you?
Would you love the Old West atmosphere combined with modern comforts at a dude ranch?
Leave me a comment to be eligible for the giveaway.

I’ll be giving away an e-copy of GARNET to two people who comment on this post.  

Come visit me on my blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest

MAVERICKS by CAROLINE CLEMMONS

Are you old enough to remember

the old “Maverick” television series? Or, perhaps you saw the 1990’s movie based on the series? I loved the TV series (and James Garner!). Is it any wonder my books feature ranchers as heroes? ? To prove how much I love the West, I’m giving away an electronic copy of BRAZOS BRIDE to two people who comment today.

I have no idea where the surname Maverick came from, but have learned where the term “maverick” for cattle and wild humans originated. The term has come to mean independently minded or anyone who could not be trusted to remain one of his/her group.

Attorney Samuel A. Maverick helped lead Texas to independence and helped establish the Republic of Texas. In 1839, he was elected mayor of San Antonio. During the Mexican War, he had taken in four hundred cattle he didn’t want as settlement of a debt, and he had the cattle driven to a range in the Matagorda area. The cattle were marked with his MK brand, but Maverick did not brand the calves. Neighbors began referring to any unbranded calf as “one of Maverick’s” as early as 1857. Not until after the Civil War did the term spread into other parts of Texas and the rest of the West. Texas cowboys never called unbranded cattle by any other name.

When the Civil War broke out, Texans went off to fight (usually for the Confederacy) and their cattle ran wild. Men often returned to find their homes and ranches in shambles, their families near starvation, and their cattle living in brambles and canebrakes. While the humans hadn’t done too well, the cattle had thrived . . . and reproduced. According to my source, of the six million cattle roaming in post-Civil-War Texas, a million were unbranded. The cattle were wild, hardy, cantankerous, and able to survive on not much more than cholla, wild grass, damp air, and neglect.

Keep in mind, these are longhorns whose horns sometimes grew nine feet or more from tip to tip. Not an animal I’d ever want to have angry at me. Broke, hungry, desperate cowboys were willing to tackle these giant beasts that sometimes weighed from a thousand to fifteen hundred pounds. Ranches were founded on mavericks, and fortunes were established driving cattle to another market. Rounding up mavericks whose ownership may or may not have been uncertain was called “jacking mavericks,” and was accepted for a while. Later, the practice became illegal.

My current series, the Men of Stone Mountain, is a trilogy: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and the upcoming BLUEBONNET BRIDE.

Hope Montoya knows someone is poisoning

her, but who? Rancher Micah Stone has been in love with Hope since the first time he saw her. When Hope proposes a paper marriage in exchange for land on the Brazos River and much needed cash, her offer rubs his pride raw.. He and Hope have to stay alive and discover the killer before they become victims in the deadly assaults.

To be entered into the drawing for a copy of BRAZOS BRIDE please remember to leave your email with your comment.
Thanks for stopping by!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Caroline Clemmons writes western historical and contemporary romances. Visit her personal blog here or her website here. Click here to order her book on Amazon.