Tag: Cheryl Pierson

BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH! — VILLAINS AND TREACHERY! by Cheryl Pierson

Oh, how I love a good villain! Whether I’m reading about one or watching him/her on film, or best of all—WRITING ONE!

What makes a good villain? Well, in my opinion, first and foremost he can’t be one-dimensional. I know in our “real world” there are those people that seem to be evil just for the sake of it and some of them probably are. But in our reading/writing, we want to know WHY. What made this person turn out like he did—a diabolical, cunning, demonic person that will stop at nothing to accomplish what he’s set out to do?

 

This leads to the question, is there anything at all that would stop him from carrying out his evil plans? Would a memory stop him, or trigger him? Would any one person be able to reason with him? Would a “new plan” divert him from carrying out the blueprint for disaster for the hero/heroine that he’s already come up with?

 

 

But there are other things that have to be reckoned with. Those things that might have happened to him in his past to create and mold him into the kind of person who would be so bold and determined to use anything—no matter how it hurts others—to his own advantage are important. But what are the factors that drive him presently? A circumstance of opportunity? A long-seated need for revenge and the path to that revenge being presented? Greed? Burning jealousy? Maybe even the death of a loved one that he may not have wanted to embarrass by his actions while they were still living—now that they’re gone, all bets are off! THE DEVIL AND MISS JULIA JACKSON has the heroine caught between a distant relative who throws her and her niece out of their home and the job as nursemaid she takes in Indian Territory, working for a man who is, at first, cold and unresponsive. The villain in this story shifts between the man who threw Julia out of her home to someone else who means to destroy her employer.

 

 

 

 

I’ve had so many villains I’ve created in my writing that were motivated by different things. My first one, Andrew Fallon, appeared in FIRE EYES. He was just pure evil. He didn’t care about anything or anyone—even his family, as his brother found out when he came looking for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my first contemporary romantic suspense, SWEET DANGER, Tabor Hardin has his revenge handed to him on a silver platter, being in the right place at the right time to turn the tables on the undercover cop who put him in jail—before his escape. He’s a man with nothing to lose at this point, and Jesse Nightwalker, the cop, has a new life hovering on the horizon—if he can survive.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The villain is paranormal in TIME PLAINS DRIFTER—a demon who can shape-shift. How in the world will the innocents he’s after survive? They have a reluctant angel or two on their side, but the demon is powerful. Can they overcome his strength?

 

 

Greed comes into play in BEYOND THE FIRE, when undercover DEA agent Jackson Taylor’s cover is blown and a drug lord comes after him, trying to use Jack’s undercover partner against him. But there is a secret that even Jack hasn’t known about his partner—and the woman he’s falling in love with. Is it enough to defeat the powerful drug cartel and keep Jackson, Kendi, and his partner safe?

Treachery comes in all forms and it’s most often quite a surprise. No matter how vigilant our heroes are, they come up against some very foreboding, sharp cunning from the villains—after all, they have to have a worthy opponent, right?

 

 

Speaking of worthy opponents, I’ll talk a little about my contemporary romantic suspense CAPTURE THE NIGHT—where the villain, Kieran McShane, runs his own rogue faction of the Irish Republican Army and plans to murder Great Britain’s Prime Minister while he’s on vacation in Dallas. Johnny Logan is an undercover Dallas cop, staying in the hotel as added protection for the prime minister; Alexa Bailey is treating herself to a one-year divorce anniversary vacation. When McShane takes over the entire hotel, it’s only a matter of time before he discovers them up on the roof in the maintenance housing—and collateral damage means nothing to him. With the hostages brought to the roof, McShane threatens to begin throwing them over one by one—unless his demands are met. Can Johnny and Alexa survive the whims of a madman, bent on political revenge?

 

One of my favorite recent stories is SABRINA, one of four novels that appears in the boxed set MAIL ORDER BRIDES FOR SALE: THE REMINGTON  SISTERS. Four sisters are at the mercy of their stepfather who plans to sell them to the highest bidder now that their mother is dead. But these girls have other plans. Can they manage to get away? Will they be able to keep themselves safe from Josiah Bloodworth no matter how far away they go? This is a very fun set of four full length novels, each sister’s story penned by a different author. Livia Washburn Reasoner—Lizzy; Jacquie Rogers—Belle; Celia Yeary—Lola; and Cheryl Pierson—Sabrina.  

Here’s an excerpt of Sabrina facing down the villain, her stepfather, in the dressmaker’s shop. Cam is listening to it all from the back, waiting for his chance to save her, his sister, and the proprietor of the shop. Here’s what happens:

“So you see, dear Sabrina, you have no true choice about what you do—and neither do your sisters.” Bloodworth spread his hands as he spoke. “You will, indeed, come home to Pennsylvania from this godforsaken place and do exactly as you are told. You will marry a man—a proper gentleman—of my choosing.” He took a step closer to her.

She faced him unflinchingly, her head held high. “I will no more return to Philadelphia with you than fly to the moon. You would do well to carry your pompous, maggot-ridden self away from here and get as far east as you can go posthaste—before my husband returns for us—and sends you straight to hell.” She spoke as regally as a queen to the lowliest dregs of society, without a trace of fear.

A thin smile touched Bloodworth’s lips, but the calm iciness in his pale eyes was what put Cam on alert. This man was determined, and he believed no one could stop him.

His muscle-bound cohort stood near the door, keeping watch so that Bloodworth didn’t need to worry about any distractions—from the two other women, or from any of the townspeople.

“My dear Sabrina, you are most definitely going to do exactly as I tell you. Or else.”

Else what? You’ll drag me back by my hair like the brute that you truly are?”

Bloodworth chuckled. “Well, well. Our little Sabrina has come into her own, hasn’t she?” He stroked his chin. “Actually, I don’t believe I shall have to drag you back. I think you most likely will do anything I say once I lay my hands on that half-breed husband of yours…even if I tell you to climb up on this counter and spread your legs like the whore you are…just like your mother was—”

The slap Sabrina gave Bloodworth echoed through the room, and brought a spot of blood to the corner of his mouth. Unruffled, he took out his handkerchief and dabbed at it.

“I’m going to kill your husband, Sabrina Rose. It will be a long…slow…and very, very painful death. And you will have only yourself to blame.”

 

So many wonderful reasons for becoming a villain! The motivations are just endless, aren’t they? It’s a fine line to walk, making them evil, yet sympathetic in some instances, and letting our readers see a glimpse of their humanity—if they have any left.

Do you have a favorite villain you’ve written or read? What about your favorite film villain?

PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS WEBSITE:  http://prairierosepublications.com/

Cheryl’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.pierson.92

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.pierson.92  

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!!

Pam Crooks

 

 

So this happened for my contemporary western romance with Tule Publishing.  Yee-Haw!

We ran a sale with Bookbub, and to hit #1 in a category (or even two categories), an author has to sell a lot of books in a short period of time to push her title to the number one slot. Amazon is just so massive, with so many categories, one never knows if it will happen.  The competition is incredible.  Even though the spike to number one usually doesn’t last for an extended period of time, that orange ribbon tends to stick around a bit, and ALOT of people will see it.  Even better, new readers are introduced to my work, resulting in a spike in my other titles, too.

 

Though no longer on sale, A COWBOY & A PROMISE is available on your favorite platform.

Tule Book Store

CHERYL PIERSON

Last March, we adopted a “little brother”, Max, for our “Sweet Seminole Sammy” who’d been with us in August of 2018. I just felt Sammy was lonely and needed another dog (and Lord knows, I can never have too many dogs!) Hubby finally gave in, grudgingly, and in March, 2019, seven months after we’d adopted Sammy, my daughter Jessica and I made the hour-long drive to my hometown of Seminole, OK, to pick up Max–a puppy who, along with 5 siblings, had been dumped at the shelter entrance when they were only about a week to 10 days old back in the early part of January 2019.

Hubby worried about all kinds of things–would they get along? What would we do if they didn’t? But in my heart, I knew that Sammy was such a “love dog” he needed to be with one of his kind. Thankfully, I was right! Here’s the picture of their first meeting. At this point, Sammy had been with us about seven months, and was just a little over a year old by all guesses. He took Max right under his wing and has loved and protected him from their first meeting.

Look how little Max was! He was (by the shelter’s guess) close to 10 weeks old when we got him on March 11–approximately one year younger than Sammy. 

 

 

Here they are a few nights ago–how they’ve both grown over this past year! (Sorry about the lighting!)

 

 

Winter fun about 2 weeks ago–Max with snow on his nose (first time for both of them to go play in the snow) and Sammy with a snow mustache! 

These guys would be lost without each other now, and they’ve taken a permanent hold on our lives and hearts! Max’s “Gotcha Day” (the day we brought him home) is March 11–coming up–and we’re planning on a favorite treat that day–a vanilla ice cream cone for each of them to celebrate the happy occasion! (I’m going to have one, too, y’all. Shhh…) 


Winnie Griggs

Fun news – Harlequin is reissuing one of my older Love Inspired Historical titles, Second Chance Family in a brand new 2-in-1 volume!  And better yet, they’re pairing me up with a book by former filly Cheryl St.John!  The book is releasing this month on line and in many retail stores where Love Inspired books can be found.

 

SECOND CHANCE FAMILY

Mitch Hammond is a man of his word. And as far as Cora Beth Collins is concerned, that’s a problem. The stubborn sheriff has vowed never to love again, for fear of wounding someone else. The most he can offer Cora Beth is marriage in name only. And with no other way to adopt two runaway orphans and keep her patchwork family together, she accepts.

Mitch is doing the honorable thing. So why does it feel so wrong? Despite his intentions, Mitch is starting to want more from Cora Beth…and from himself. For in her trusting eyes he sees everything he hopes to be—as a lawman, a father and a husband.

Find On Amazon

Mary Connealy

A new release TOMORROW, March 3.

Woman of Sunlight, book #2 of the Brides of Hope Mountain series will ship from online stores and be in bookstores at last!

After years of isolation on top of Hope Mountain, Ilsa Nordegren may finally be ready to leave. Raised to fear the world, Ilsa and her sisters never planned on coming down, but when the Warden family arrived in need, they had to help. And it may cost them everything.

Having made his fortune, Mitch Warden returned home and found the family homestead abandoned. In a land grab, a ruthless cattle baron had forced his family to escape up the mountain, and when he follows, the last thing he expects is to fall smitten to a black-haired woman who dresses like Robin Hood.

Warden is intent on helping his family reclaim their land, but doesn’t realize the risks his past has brought. Dangerous men have tracked him, and rather than risk innocent lives, he’s determined to end the danger. But that means a journey to the city–and when Ilsa insists on joining him, the mismatched pair suddenly find themselves on a venture they’ll never forget.

Karen Witemeyer

I just found out that I was named the #4 fan favorite romance author for 2020 by Family Fiction Magazine. Yee Haw! To see the full list of the top 40 Christian romance authors, click here. Another western romance author, Lacy Williams, took the top slot this year, and fellow filly Mary Connealy made the list at #19. Hooray for western romance!

Karen Kay

I have a new release!

 

 

A vision foretold his tribe’s doom.  Is the flame-haired beauty the trickster or his true love?

BUY ON AMAZON

Julie Benson

I just spent the weekend visiting my youngest son in Glassboro, New Jersey. The time has flown. It seems like just yesterday my husband and I dropped him off at Rowan University for his freshman year as a musical theatre major. Now he’s a senior and we watched him in his last performance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s my youngest as the King of the Underworld. Once again his ability to bring a quirky, incredible character to life amazed me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture of him in a shorter version of the cap with shorts riding a tricycle because it was in the middle of the show…

 

Phyliss Miranda

Everything’s bigger in Texas … including love.
It starts with a kiss … and it’s .99!
If you haven’t read my latest Kasota Springs Out of a Texas Night  I’m pleased to tell you the eBook is on sale for only $.99 across various retailers for the full month of March 2020!
 
 
AMAZON  |  B&N  |  KOBO  |
 
Ruth Logan Herne
 
Well, it’s not a Western, but Ruthy is thrilled to announce the release of Book 3 of her “Wishing Bridge” series “Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge”. This latest addition to this bestselling series releases officially today… and what a wonderful thing to celebrate! 
 
AMAZON
 

YEE HAW!!!!!!!!

 

 

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE? by Cheryl Pierson

If you are a reader, or a writer, or both, at some time, you probably have wondered about what words are the most important ones in our language.

In an article by Richard Nordquist for ThoughtCo., a list of the 100 most important words was drawn up by British rhetorician I.A. Richards, author of several books including “Basic English and Its Uses” (1943).

These words are not the most frequently used words in the English language. This list of words has been chosen more for their meanings, and the importance they have to our language.

According to Nordquist, Richards introduced his list of words in the book “How to Read a Page: A Course in Effective Reading” (1942), and he called them “the most important words” for two reasons:

  1. They cover the ideas we can least avoid using, those which are concerned in all that we do as thinking beings.
  2. They are words we are forced to use in explaining other words because it is in terms of the ideas they cover that the meanings of other words must be given.

With these parameters in mind, it’s interesting to think about the words that were chosen to be representative of the 100  most important words in our entire language, isn’t it? And reading over the list, I find myself nodding my head in agreement and saying, “MMM-HMMM…”

 

Here are those 100 important words:

  1. Amount                 
  2. Argument   
  3. Art
  4. Be
  5. Beautiful
  6. Belief
  7. Cause
  8. Certain
  9. Chance
  10. Change
  11. Clear
  12. Common
  13. Comparison
  14. Condition
  15. Connection
  16. Copy
  17. Decision
  18. Degree
  19. Desire
  20. Development
  21. Different
  22. Do
  23. Education
  24. End
  25. Event
  26. Examples
  27. Existence
  28. Experience
  29. Fact
  30. Fear
  31. Feeling
  32. Fiction
  33. Force
  34. Form
  35. Free
  36. General
  37. Get
  38. Give
  39. Good
  40. Government
  41. Happy
  42. Have
  43. History
  44. Idea
  45. Important
  46. Interest
  47. Knowledge
  48. Law
  49. Let
  50. Level
  51. Living
  52. Love
  53. Make
  54. Material
  55. Measure
  56. Mind
  57. Motion
  58. Name
  59. Nation
  60. Natural
  61. Necessary
  62. Normal
  63. Number
  64. Observation
  65. Opposite
  66. Order
  67. Organization
  68. Part
  69. Place
  70. Pleasure
  71. Possible
  72. Power
  73. Probable
  74. Property
  75. Purpose
  76. Quality
  77. Question
  78. Reason
  79. Relation
  80. Representative
  81. Respect
  82. Responsible
  83. Right
  84. Same
  85. Say
  86. Science
  87. See
  88. Seem
  89. Sense
  90. Sign
  91. Simple
  92. Society
  93. Sort
  94. Special
  95. Substance
  96. Thing
  97. Thought
  98. True
  99. Use
  100. Way
  101. Wise
  102. Word
  103. Work

All these words carry multiple meanings, and they can say quite different things to different readers. For that reason, Richards’ list could just as well have been labeled “The 100 Most Ambiguous Words.

Richards says, “The very usefulness which gives them their importance explains their ambiguity. They are the servants of too many interests to keep to single, clearly defined jobs. Technical words in the sciences are like adzes, planes, gimlets, or razors. A word like “experience,” or “feeling,” or “true” is like a pocketknife. In good hands it will do most things—not very well. In general we will find that the more important a word is, and the more central and necessary its meanings are in our pictures of ourselves and the world, the more ambiguous and possibly deceiving the word will be.”

In earlier writings, Richards had explored the fundamental notion that meaning doesn’t reside in words themselves. Instead, meaning is rhetorical, or fashioned out of both a verbal context (the words surrounding the words) and the experiences of the individual reader. No surprise, then, that miscommunication is often the result when the “important words” come into play.

It’s this idea of mis-communicating through language that led Richards to conclude that all of us are developing our reading skills all the time: “Whenever we use words in forming some judgment or decision, we are, in what may be a painfully sharp sense, ‘learning to read’.” (“How to Read a Page.”)

There are actually 103 words on Richards’ top-100 list. The bonus words, he said, are meant “to incite the reader to the task of cutting out those he sees no point in and adding any he pleases, and to discourage the notion that there is anything sacrosanct about a hundred, or any other number.”

With these thoughts in mind, can you create your own list of the top 100 words in the English language? Would they be important for the same reasons cited above?

I see several on here that I agree with…now I’ve got to put my mind to thinking about some of the others I might rather have in place of some of his suggestions! What about you?

  1. Nordquist, Richard. “The 100 Most Important Words in English.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2020, thoughtco.com/important-words-in-english-1692687.

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!!

Margaret Brownley

I have a new book out, just in time for Valentine’s.  The anthology is titled Mail Order Standoff.  If you like mail-order bride stories, then this one is for you. The stories all have a fun twist when the brides get cold feet. 

My story is titled Pistol Packin’ Bride: Attorney Wade Bronson didn’t expect to get shot on his wedding day–and certainly not by his mail order bride…

Amazon

B&N

More News!

A LADY LIKE SARAH

She’s an outlaw; he’s a preacher. Both are in need of a miracle.

The audiobook just came out and already it’s #6 on Amazon’s Western audiobook chart. 

AMAZON

Jeannie Watt

I have a new book out, too! It’s a sweet romance set in Montana with a single widower dad and his two adorable little girls. I had a blast writing Montana Dad.

 

A new start in Montana

…or new love?

Alex Ryan fled her career, her home and her family to start over in Montana. Somewhere her past can’t find her. Now her biggest danger is Nick Callahan, the gorgeous single dad—and cowboy—next door. Alex can’t let anyone get close to her or her heart. But this particular rancher might just give Alex the strength to stop running from her past…and see a future with him.

AMAZON

Linda Broday

I’m on a book tour with Lone Star Literary for The Mail Order Bride’s Secret

And I Have Rafflecopter Giveaways! Click on the graphic and enter!

 

 

CHERYL PIERSON

VALENTINE READS–OLDIES BUT GOODIES!

Who loves a great Valentine’s Day story? I DO! I love to read them and write them! If there is a more romantic time of year, I don’t know what it is—and it’s especially so for me, since my hubby and I got married on February 10, 1979, almost forty-one years ago! (I’m trying to come up with some different romantic ideas for us for our anniversary, and it’s tough after this long!) LOL

With flowers and candy at the top of the “romantic” list, I always indulge in a guilty pleasure or two and buy myself some VERY romantic stories to lose myself in at this time of year! I don’t have a new Valentine story out this year, but I’m working on one that’ll be ready for next Valentine’s Day, for sure. 

 

Here are a few “picks” for you if you’re looking for some romantic Valentine’s Day reading…

 

 

HEARTS AND SPURS is a short story collection that features nine sensual Valentine’s Day love tales of the old west that will leave no doubt—Cupid is a cowboy, and he’s playing for keeps! How do you capture a cowboy’s heart? HEARTS AND SPURS  includes stories by many of our P&P past and present “fillies”!

OPEN HEARTS by Tanya Hanson, THE WIDOW’S HEART by Linda Broday, COMING HOME by Tracy Garrett, TUMBLEWEEDS AND VALENTINES by Phyliss Miranda, FOUND HEARTS by Cheryl Pierson, THE SECOND-BEST RANGER IN TEXAS by Kathleen Rice Adams (WESTERN FICTIONEER PEACEMAKER AWARD WINNER!) GUARDING HER HEART by Livia J. Washburn, HOLLOW HEART by Sarah J. McNeal, A FLARE OF THE HEART by Jacquie Rogers

What a wonderful anthology this is!

GET IT HERE: https://amzn.to/2u9ORpl

 

 

 

A HEART FOR A HEART by Cheryl Pierson is a contemporary Valentine’s Day novella you might enjoy… 

Kiera Leslie is all set to welcome Cory Tiger into her home as a foster child. Orphaned and with a learning disability, Cory is looking forward to living with his tutor. Until his uncle shows up…

Sam Tiger returns from military duty to find his deceased brother’s son being taken in by a stranger. The boy needs his family—and Sam is it. He never expects the tutor to stand up to him and want to keep Cory. Then the worst happens—he finds himself attracted to Kiera.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Cupid’s got deadly aim!

GET IT HERE: https://amzn.to/2vGgTJF

 

HIDDEN TRAILS by Cheryl Pierson takes place right around Valentine’s Day in a blinding snowstorm. It was also a finalist in the WESTERN FICTIONEERS PEACEMAKER AWARDS a few years back for best western short fiction. 

 Levi Connor has never run from anything in his life, and he doesn’t intend to start now. After killing the two bandits who’d followed him into Indian Territory, he finds himself wounded and riding through a blinding February snowstorm. With no purpose ahead of him and no past to guide him, he discovers a reason to exist—the beautiful mixed-blood girl who takes him in and heals him.

Valentine Reneau lives in fear that her father will find her someday in the heart of Indian Territory and force her to return to Mississippi to take her mother’s place—in every way. She knows her time has run out when a stranger shows up on her land with two hired guns—and the devil in his plans.

With some unlikely help, Valentine must try to escape the slave’s fate that her mother left behind so many years before. Will Levi kill for a woman he barely knows? The chips are down, the guns blaze, and everything finally comes clear along these HIDDEN TRAILS…but who’ll be left alive?

GET IT HERE:  https://amzn.to/31bhuyI

 

What’s the most romantic story you ever read? There are soooooo many!  If anyone has a “novel” idea on something different and fun to do for Valentine’s Day, please share! I’m wracking my brain! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Pam Crooks

Mark your calendars!

A COWBOY AND A PROMISE will be featured on BookBub for 99 cents

on your favorite platform!

February 14th – 15th ONLY

 

 

SAECULUM–HOW LONG WILL WE BE REMEMBERED? by Cheryl Pierson

I learned a new word the other day, thanks to a dear friend of mine, Sharon Cunningham. She posted on Facebook about the word, “saeculum”—which was one that I’d never heard of. I didn’t even know there was an actual word for this “event” or “circumstance.”

Saeculum means the period of time from when an event occurred until all people who had an actual memory of the event have died. The example she used was World War I. The saeculum for that war is over.

It can also be applied to people. (Something else I never thought about.) A person’s saeculum doesn’t end until all people who have a clear memory of knowing that person are gone. So even though a person has died, their saeculum will live for another two or three generations!

Isn’t this amazing? And comforting, somehow. Yes, eventually our saeculum will be over, but what amazes me, and comforts me at the same time, is knowing there is a word—an actual TERM—for the idea of this memory of an event or person.

When you think about it, knowing that someone has created a word to define this period of time is important, because it defines it and gives it meaning—not just some nebulous “I remember Mama” type idea that is passed down. It means, I DO REMEMBER MAMA. I remember how Mama used to sing, I remember how Mama used to cook, how her palm felt on my forehead in the night when she came to check on me. I remember “that” look when she was upset with me, and I remember how she cried when she learned her dad, my grandfather, had died.

 

Valentine’s Day 1965, Mom, my sister Karen, me, and my oldest sister, Annette
Nov. 1960–my sisters, Karen and Annette cutting up in the living room
Sept. 1966–my mom and dad together
 Dec. 1965–my mom wearing the hula skirt my sister Annette brought me from Hawaii for Christmas
April 1960–my grandmother (mom’s mother), a not-quite-3-year-old me, and my sister Annette
January 1960–Mom’s 38th birthday

I remember Mama the way I knew her. And when we talk to other members of the family who knew and remembered her, we learn many other facets about her personality and things about her as a person we would never have known otherwise. It’s this way with every person we know!   

But let’s take it one step further: I remember family. My own, of course—two sisters, Mama and Daddy. But what about extended family? Sometimes we tend to just “move on” in our lives and not dwell on memories of long ago because somehow, they don’t seem important to us. But now that there is a word that defines us in relationship to those memories, doesn’t it seem a little more important that we remember those long-ago times? Soon, there will be no one to remember, and the saeculum for our entire family will be gone.

A group of my cousins at a family reunion

Oddly enough, I remember what I thought AS A CHILD at family get-togethers—the excitement of seeing my cousins, of taking a trip to visit everyone, of staying up late and having a bit more freedom since I had grandparents at both ends of the small town where both sides of my family had many members living—and I felt special because of that. I was the ONLY ONE of my cousins who had THAT! So we always had somewhere to walk to when they were with me—to one grandparents’ house or the other.

As an adult, I think back on those simpler times and wonder what else was going on in the “adult world”—sisters, brothers, in-laws all gathering with their children and meal preparation for so many people—my mother was the oldest of eleven children!

My mother, El Wanda Stallings Moss, and my aunt (my dad’s sister) JoAnne Moss Jackson

Two unforgettable women!

Everyone tried to come home to Bryan County during Christmas and/or Thanksgiving. Such an exciting time, but for the adults…tiring and maybe stressful? If so, I don’t remember ever seeing that side of anyone.   

 

My mom and dad as newlyweds in 1944–El Wanda Stallings Moss and Frederic Marion Moss–around 22 years old

So, maybe that’s why I think writing is so important. My mom always said she wanted to write down her life story, but “life” kept getting in the way and it never happened. When she ended up with Alzheimer’s, the time for writing down anything was over. Though the written word doesn’t add to a person’s saeculum, it does at least two things for those left behind: It helps preserve the stories and memories the deceased person has talked about before they passed, and it gives future generations a glimpse into their ancestors’ lives, thoughts, beliefs, and dreams.

This is my great-grandmother, “Mammy” (Emma Christi Anna Ligon Stallings)–my mother’s dad’s mother. I never knew her, but I felt like I did from the stories Mom told me about her. She was born not long after the Civil War ended, and regaled my mother with stories of her growing up years. I wish I had listened better when Mom tried to tell me about her!

We die, and eventually are forgotten by the world. Events happen that were, at the time,  life-changing, world- altering, such as wars, rampant disease, and tragedies of other kinds. These, though horrific at the time, will eventually be relegated to the tomes of the historical past…and forgotten…by many. There is nothing to stop it. All saeculums will be over for individual people and for events. And they will all become history.

What we can leave behind for others is our pictures, the written word of who we are and what we believe, and if we have a particular talent or craft, pieces of that—carvings, quilts, beautiful artwork or writings, creations of so many kinds.

A painting my mom did many years ago of an old barn in a snowstorm. Sorry it’s so small! Couldn’t make it bigger without making it blurry.

Our saeculum is fragile, and fleeting. So for 2020, my one and only resolution is to try to keep some kind of journal for my children, or for anyone who might be interested in the future. I want to write about my childhood, just the regular every-day things we did, the heat of the Oklahoma summer nights, the fireflies that lit up those nights until we knew we had to go home or get in trouble! The way the house creaked, and how the attic fan sounded like a freight train as it brought in that blessed cooler air during those same hot summer nights. So many memories of “nothing special”—just the business of living.  I want to write about the way life was then—because it will never be that way again, for better or worse.

My best friend, Jane Carroll, and me, on a fall day in the sandbox. I was about 8, and Jane was a year older. We moved in just down the street from one another during the same week of 1963! Jane is gone now, but I still love her and miss her.

Will anyone give a hoot? Maybe not. But I will know I’ve done what I could do if anyone DOES care. I’m not sure Laura Ingalls Wilder thought anyone would care about her stories—but look at what a glimpse into the past they have provided for so many generations! I’m no Laura Ingalls Wilder. My journals won’t begin to make the impression on the world that hers did. But you never know who might read them and think, “I wish I had known her!” (Even after my saeculum is over!)

Me, at age three.

Do you have anything you would like to leave to future generations to remember you by? This fascinates me!

 

WESTERN CHRISTMAS ART AT ITS BEST! by Cheryl Pierson

 

Hi everyone! Welcome to day 2 of our Jingle Jangle Spurs Event! I love Christmas. And I love western art. Merge the two and what do you get? Well, in my opinion, Jack Sorenson! Jack Sorenson’s western artwork is just wonderful. He’s one of my favorite artists, and you’ve probably seen his artwork on Christmas cards, calendars, and in galleries, as well. If I had the money, I would fill my house up with his art–here are a few of his Christmas paintings–just a FEW, mind you! This first one reminds me of the opening scene of RAWHIDE–“Head ’em up, move ’em out!” 

THE REINDEER ROUNDUP

 

A favorite subject of his paintings are his “cowboy” Santas.  This one’s called SANTA’S BIG RIDE, and  I just love the “motion” in it. And the beautiful colors!

 

This one is called ST. NICK’S EXPRESS. I feel like I’m riding shotgun, don’t you?

 

Another favorite, even though the background is darker. It feels “peaceful” somehow. This one is called A COWBOY CHRISTMAS. Look at the lighting on the snow. Isn’t that amazing? 

 

Okay, I saved the best for last–this is my favorite. I would love to have this one hanging on my wall in my living room. I just can’t say enough good about this one and when you see it, you’ll know why. This is the kind of cowboy we all love to write about and read about!  Not only did he make it home in time for Christmas–he’s got that special gift hidden behind his back. This one is called THE HOMECOMING.

 

 

Hope you all have enjoyed this peek into just a very FEW of Jack Sorenson’s wonderful paintings. If you would like to see more, jump on over here and take a look!  Merry Christmas to you all! I hope your holidays are merry and bright, and filled with love and many good memories!

https://www.jacksorensonfineart.com/christmas/

COWBOYS & MISTLETOE – Day Two

 

Cheryl Pierson

 

Texas Ranger Shiloh Barrett loses his hotheaded older brother to a gunfight over a hand of cards. Now the “winner”—a wealthy landowner who’s coveted the Barrett homestead—finally has what he wants. But could there be something Seamus O’Connor desires more than the Barretts’ land?

O’Connor has not seen his beautiful daughter, Kalli, for thirteen years. He knows that she’s living with her mother’s Cherokee people in northeastern Indian Territory. Determined to have her kidnapped and brought to him, Seamus uses the deed he holds to the Barrett homestead to get what he wants. Even though it goes against everything Shiloh Barrett believes is right, O’Connor’s blackmail cannot be ignored.

But beautiful Kalliroe White Dove O’Connor has some tricks up her sleeve as the handsome ex-ranger spirits her away into the nearby San Bois Mountains. The tables turn when Shiloh is bitten by a rattlesnake their first day on the trail. Though Kalli tells herself she has no other choice but to stay with Shiloh—and she does want to reunite with her father—deep down, she knows there is another reason she can’t leave the handsome lawman. Could it be she’s falling in love with him?

In a final showdown with a cutthroat outlaw gang, Shiloh heads straight into the pit of vipers to buy some time for the man he despises—Kalli’s father. No matter how this all plays out, KIDNAPPING KALLI has been the best thing Shiloh Barrett’s ever done—if he only lives to see it through…

BUY HERE:  AMAZON 

 

A woman with no home… Beautiful Southern belle Julia Jackson has just been informed she and her niece must find a new home immediately—or else. With no family to turn to in Georgia, Julia takes a mighty gamble and answers an advertisement for a nursemaid in wild Indian Territory—for the child of a man she knows nothing about. Together, she and five-year-old Lauralee waste no time as they flee to the safety of the new position Julia has accepted. She can only hope this move will be the start of a bright future for them away from Lauralee’s dangerous much older half-brother.
A rancher with no heart… The death of Devlin Campbell’s young daughter has ripped the light from his life. Though the birth of his son, little Jamie, should have been a source of happiness, the subsequent loss of his wife forces Dev to ignore his emotions and trudge through life’s joyless responsibilities. But all that changes with the arrival of Miss Julia Jackson from Atlanta! Not at all what Dev is expecting in response to his ad, his resentment boils over at her failure to mention her tag-along niece—a painful reminder of the loss of his own little girl just two years earlier. Yet, how can he deny the sunshine Julie brings into his drab existence with her very presence?
Can love find a way? In the depths of Dev’s boundless sorrow and his accompanying anger, is there room in his life for anyone else as Christmas approaches? Can Julie convince him that love is the cure for a broken heart, and hope is the only recipe for a new beginning between THE DEVIL AND MISS JULIA JACKSON…

                       BUY HERE:    AMAZON  

Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $10 GIFT CARD TO AMAZON! 

Scroll down to the form below. Click the link to my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE and FOLLOW ME, then note on the form that you followed. If you like, you can also mention it in the comments here on the blog!

Linda Broday

 

Find your very own cowboy to keep warm these long, wintry nights as you cozy up with six sweeping, epic tales of heroism, passion, family and celebration from bestselling authors Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas.

Fall in Love with Christmas

Whether it’s a widower finding an unexpected new start, a former outlaw and his new wife welcoming their very own Christmas miracle, a long-lost lover returning just in time for a special holiday celebration, a second chance at love between two warring hearts given peace at last, an unlikely pair working together to bring joy to a small Texas town, or a cowboy and his dark-eyed beauty snowed in one unforgettable wintry eve…every Christmas with a cowboy is filled with light, laughter, and a forever kind of love.

A Fairy Tale Christmas – Leigh Greenwood

Christmas in Paradise – Rosanne Bittner

A Christmas Wedding – Linda Broday

A Love Letter To Santa – Margaret Brownley

One Snowy Christmas Eve – Anna Schmidt

Through the Storm – Amy Sandas

 

AMAZON  |  B&N APPLE  |  KOBO  |  INDIEBOUND

Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $10 GIFT CARD TO AMAZON! 

Scroll down to the Rafflecopter form below. Click the link to my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE and FOLLOW ME, then note on the form that you followed. If you like, you can also mention it in the comments here on the blog! If you already follow me on Amazon, you can follow me on Bookbub or friend me on Facebook instead. Thank you so much.

Kit Morgan

 

There’s nothing quite like spending Christmas with the Weavers!

 

They’re boisterous, they’re loud, and most of all, they’re full of surprises! But this time the Weavers are the ones surprised by what happens when Clear Creek residents Harrison Cooke and his family along with Irene and Wilfred Dunnigan come for a visit. Cinnamon rolls, budding romance and of course one cantankerous Mrs. Dunnigan make for a hilarious holiday romp in this sweet, clean and wholesome historical western! Enjoy the coming together of two of Kit Morgan’s most iconic families!

Buy Here: Amazon

 

And while Harrison Cooke and his family are visiting the Weavers, his brother Colin and his family back home get a visitor of his own…

Jefferson Cooke, the eldest son of one of the famous Cooke brothers of the Triple-C Ranch wasn’t looking for love. Why bother when there were no young women around to marry? If he wanted a wife, he’d have to send for a mail-order bride and the thought didn’t appeal to him. In his mind, it was far too risky. His situation, therefore, was hopeless. So he’d forced himself to forget about finding a bride and falling in love. What else could he do? Little did he know one was about to show up, and wearing a funny pair of shoes to boot! Enjoy this sweet, clean and wholesome time-travel romance set against the backdrop of the old west!

Buy Here:

Buy Here: Amazon

 

Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $10 GIFT CARD TO AMAZON! 

Scroll down to the form below. Click the link to my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE and FOLLOW ME, then note on the form that you followed. If you like, you can also mention it in the comments here on the blog!

 

Winners will be announced on Sunday, December 8th.

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COWBOY DREAMS–THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF THE ABERNATHY BROTHERS! by Cheryl Pierson

In the summer of 1909, two young brothers under the age of ten set out to make their own “cowboy dreams” come true.  They rode across two states on horseback.  Alone.Temple_&_Bud_in_Manhattan--1910page81-2[1]

It’s a story that sounds too unbelievable to be true, but it is.

Oklahoma had been a state not quite two years when these young long riders undertook the adventure of a lifetime.  The brothers, Bud (Louis), and Temple Abernathy rode from their Tillman County ranch in the southwest corner of the state to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Bud was nine years old, and Temple was five.

They were the sons of a U.S. Marshal, Jack Abernathy, who had the particular talent of catching wolves and coyotes alive, earning him the nickname “Catch ’Em Alive Jack.”

Jack Abernathy

Odd as it seems to us today, Jack Abernathy had unwavering faith in his two young sons’ survival skills.  Their mother had died the year before, and, as young boys will, they had developed a wanderlust listening to their father’s stories.

Jack agreed to let them undertake the journey, Bud riding Sam Bass (Jack’s own Arabian that he used chase wolves down with) and Temple riding Geronimo, a half-Shetland pony.  There were four rules the boys had to agree to:  Never to ride more than fifty miles a day unless seeking food or shelter; never to cross a creek unless they could see the bottom of it or have a guide with them; never to carry more than five dollars at a time; and no riding on Sunday. Temple_and_Bud_in_Amarillo2[1]

The jaunt into New Mexico to visit their father’s friend, governor George Curry, took them six weeks.  Along the way, they were escorted by a band of outlaws for many miles to ensure their safe passage.  The boys didn’t realize they were outlaws until later, when the men wrote to Abernathy telling him they didn’t respect him because he was a marshal.  But, in the letter, they wrote they “liked what those boys were made of.”

One year later, they set out on the trip that made them famous.  At ten and six, the boys rode from their Cross Roads Ranch in Frederick, Oklahoma, to New York City to meet their friend, former president Theodore Roosevelt, on his return from an African safari.  They set out on April 5, 1910, riding for two months.

Along the way, they were greeted in every major city, being feted at dinners and amusement parks, given automobile rides, and even an aeroplane ride by Wilbur Wright in Dayton, Ohio.

Their trip to New York City went as planned, but they had to buy a new horse to replace Geronimo.  While they were there, he had gotten loose in a field of clover and nearly foundered, and had to be shipped home by train.

They traveled on to Washington, D.C., and met with President Taft and other politicians.

It was on this trip that the brothers decided they needed an automobile of their own.  They had fallen in love with the new mode of transportation, and they convinced their father to buy a Brush runabout.  After practicing for a few hours in New York, they headed for Oklahoma—Bud drove, and Temple was the mechanic.

Pierson blog 1

They arrived safe and sound back in Oklahoma in only 23 days.

But their adventures weren’t over.  The next year, they were challenged to ride from New York City to San Francisco.  If they could make it in 60 days, they would win $10,000.  Due to some bad weather along the 3,619-mile-long trip, they missed the deadline by only two days.  Still, they broke a record—and that record of 62 days still stands, over one hundred years later.

The boys’ last cross country trip was made in 1913 driving a custom designed, two-seat motorcycle from their Cross Roads Ranch to New York City.  They returned to Oklahoma by train.

As adults, Temple became an oilman, and Bud became a lawyer.  There is a statue that commemorates the youngest long riders ever in their hometown of Frederick, Oklahoma, on the lawn of the Tillman County Courthouse.

StatueBoys[1]

 

COWBOY POTATOES by CHERYL PIERSON

 

Hi everyone! I was thinking about how much I love fried potatoes tonight when I was making them for dinner. Those are a great “comfort food” to me, and one I don’t think I’d ever get tired of. But I imagine the cowboys of yesteryear grew sick of the fare they ate constantly–beans, chili, stew, potatoes, and the like–when they were on a cattle drive. 

 

Dinner time at a cowboy’s camp, banks of the Yellowstone, Montana, U.S.A. Original source: Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. 

 

 

 

Here’s another awesome picture that is around 120 years old–Wonder what they’re having to eat? Chili? Beans? Maybe biscuits and gravy? Or…POTATOES??? These color pictures were produced using a method called photochrom. This is making colorized photos from black and white negatives through the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates.

It was invented in the 1880s and by the 1890s, was extremely popular (when this image was shot). Credit: Mediadrumimages/PublicDomain

Here’s a really good recipe for — what else? COWBOY POTATOES!
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1?4 cup onion, diced
  • 1?4 cup bell pepper (or jalapeno for spicier fare!), diced
  • salt and pepper
  • Peel potatoes, if desired or leave the peel on and cut into 1/2″ cubes.
  • Heat oil in large skillet.  Add the potatoes, spreading into a single layer. Let them get  brown on one side before stirring.
  • Stir the potatoes, and let them brown on another side. Stir once more, and add the pepper and onion. Cook until the onions and peppers are tender. If the potatoes are not done, reduce heat to low and cover the skillet until they’re done.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

YUM, YUM! Hope you enjoy these! Do you have a favorite potato recipe? I’m sure we have a LOT more variety than the cowboys did! Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win some great prizes!

 

WHAT A GREAT STORY! by CHERYL PIERSON

Well, summer’s over, and fall is “on the way”! I wish I could say I had an actual “beach read” but we haven’t taken a vacation in years, and probably won’t in the foreseeable future now that we have our two furbabies. So we have to do little fun things locally, and try to relax at home—which is sometimes hard to do. But one way I can always escape is with a good book—and I have read (and re-read) some wonderful ones this summer.

Have you ever read a book that you didn’t want to finish because it was so good you didn’t want the story to end? I remember when I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series—that was how I felt. A lot of people don’t like lengthy books, but I love them—the more intricate and in-depth the characters and plotlines are, the more I enjoy them I was so glad to have “the next one” to go to in that series, and though there were some I liked better than others, I thought they were all well-written and entertaining!

 

I read a book this summer called The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson that was in this category. I could not put it down, but I didn’t want it to be over! Linda Broday had recommended it and I went right over and bought it from Amazon. I rarely do that, but something about the way Linda talked about that book made me want to read it, and put it right at the top of my TBR pile! I was NOT disappointed. Here’s the blurb:

The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything?everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter. Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble.

If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere?even back home.

https://tinyurl.com/y35ms65w

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this is one book you will remember long after you reach the end. I read a ton of books every year, and this is going on my “keeper” shelf, along with the NEXT book I bought by the same author called GodPretty in the Tobacco Field. Oh, goodness. I then had to just go to Amazon and order the rest of her books. These may ALL be keepers!

I read one of Kat Martin’s older books, Natchez Flame—that one had my heart pounding and wondering how in the world she was going to let Priscilla and Brendan have their happy-ever-after that they so richly deserved! Sigh…Take a look…

A woman of courage and honor. She sold everything she owned to go west and marry a powerful land baron she’d never seen. But Priscilla Wills hadn’t counted on the gunfight—or the gun—fighter—who would change her life: the tall, broad-shouldered man who killed her guardian in self-defense. Reluctantly he agreed to take her through the dangerous Texas back country to her fiancé’s ranch. She hadn’t planned on a journey that would take her into a stranger’s soul as he delivered her into another man’s waiting arms.

A man who lived by the gun. He was an outlaw—yet Brendan Trask unleashed in the prim and proper Priscilla a fiery passion that matched his own. But a man running for his life couldn’t afford a woman who hungered for the security that only her wealthy fiancé could provide.

What’s on the agenda for the next “wonderful read”? I’ve got two I want to re-read—Nobody’s Darling, by Teresa Medeiros, one of my very favorite authors ever—and Star Keeper by Patricia Potter, who is also a dear favorite, as well. I’ve read both of these in the past but it’s been a while and they need to be re-read! LOL Nobody’s Darling is a western historical romance, and Star Keeper takes place during the War of Independence, which is such an interesting time period, as well!

Also waiting for me are Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart—it’s been a long time since I read any of her work, and it’s always so wonderful. And last but not least, These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E. Turner.

And…of course, the other books I ordered by Kim Michele Richardson that will be here any day now! I’ve got my reading cut out for me, but I’m looking forward to every single one of these stories. Have you read any wonderful books lately that you’d want to share with us? I’m always on the lookout for “the next good read” and love to talk books! How about you?