Jeannie Watt New Release and a Give Away!

I have a new release tomorrow, October 26! Her Cowboy Christmas Hero is a sweet romance and the last book in my Return to the Keller Ranch series. To celebrate, I’m giving away two $15 Amazon gift cards.

But wait, there’s more! The first book in the series is free today, October 25, 2023! If you’d like to check it out, here’s the Amazon link to Christmas with the Cowboy.   The book won’t be free for more than a day or two, so I hope you take advantage. (Quick caveat–this story is not exactly smoking, but it has a little more heat than my new release.)

Cade Keller is the youngest of four siblings and a twin to boot. He’s the quiet Keller–the kid who didn’t turn his parents’ hair gray, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hold his own. He’s recently returned home after quitting a job due to safety reasons and now he needs to figure out his future.

Alex Woodson grew up in a wealthy family. While things looked great from the outside, the truth was that Alex’s parents were cold people who had no idea how to raise a child.  When her family goes bankrupt, Alex has to learn to fend for herself, which she does by moving into a ramshackle home and starting an interior painting business. When she’s hired to paint a house on the Keller Ranch, she reconnects with Cade, her secret high school crush. Cade is in no position to start a relationship, but he is drawn to independent Alex, who has changed dramatically since her high school golden girl days.

Here’s an excerpt. Alex has grudgingly agreed to spend Thanksgiving with Cade, because he’s alone for the holiday.

“Everyone had a hand in making your holiday dinner?” Alex repeated, as she tried to imagine cooking in a kitchen with four kids of varying ages. While she sensed there may have been an element of chaos, she was certain that it had also been a ton of fun. So very different than her Thanksgiving experiences as a kid, which involved travel to her paternal grandmother’s house and an elaborate restaurant meal. But cleanup was easy.

“Even Dad did his part,” Cade said. “He makes a great frozen pie.”

Alex laughed. “Something your dad and I have in common.”

“What kind of pie did you bring?”


“Good.” He seasoned his mixture with sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, took a taste, then tossed the teaspoon into the sink. “It’ll do.”

Alex was beginning to have her suspicions about Cade not cooking. “Why good?” she asked, wondering at the relief in his voice when she’d said “cherry.”

Cade gave a furtive, sideways look, as if checking for eavesdroppers, then said, “I hate pumpkin pie.”

Alex pulled her phone out of her pocket and unlocked the screen.

“What are you doing?”

“Calling the holiday police,” she said, stabbing a few buttons, then bringing the phone to her ear.

“Oh, no, you don’t,” Cade said, making a playful grab for her wrist and catching it before she could move out of range. “I’m already on holiday probation and if another call gets made, then . . .” He made a slicing motion across his throat with his free hand. “Holiday jail for a few years.”

“Fine. But if I hear of another infraction . . .” She lifted her eyebrows in warning while her insides all but danced at the sensations his gentle grip on her wrist produced.

“I’ll be on my best behavior,” Cade promised, casually releasing his hold on her. Once free, Alex put her phone back into her pocket, still feeling the tingling warmth of Cade’s fingers on her skin. It’d been a long time since she played with someone, particularly a great-looking guy. Too long, perhaps?

Hard yes on that one.

She was still learning to walk the line between enjoying people’s company and getting sucked into situations where she became vulnerable. The line between knee-jerk fear of getting too close and faith in her ability to protect her heart.

“What temperature should the oven be at for the pie?”

Alex read the underside of the box, Cade set the temperature, and then started stirring dried bread cubes into the butter, celery, onion mixture.

“Um . . .”

Cade looked over his shoulder.

“Curious guest here . . . will there be turkey or some kind of protein? Because the oven is full of pie and nothing else.”

He gave her a crooked grin. “That’s the beauty of having another house with another oven. The bird is over there. This oven is for frozen pies and the stuffing.” After Cade transferred the stuffing from bowl to casserole dish, he put it in the fridge, and then picked up the wine Alex had poured.

“I’m glad you came. Holidays shouldn’t be spent alone.”

Alex’s lips curved in an ironic expression as she studied her wineglass.

“What?” Cade asked curiously.

“I’m going to tell you something that sounds bad, but isn’t.” She sucked air in between her teeth as if preparing for a doomsday announcement.

“Worse than being on holiday probation?”

“It’s in the same ballpark,” she said. “I haven’t spent Thanksgiving Day with anyone but myself for years.”


“True story.”

“You spend the day alone?” He sounded as if he couldn’t fathom such an idea.

She gave a self-conscious shrug. “That’s what happens when you don’t have a ton of family.” And a healthy fear of abandonment. Maybe that was why she was laying this out like she was. Because, despite having fun, she felt herself pulling back. Getting scared. Ratcheting the numbers down on the DEFCON scale.

“I enjoyed my holidays alone.” Which was good, because she didn’t have anyone to share them with. She’d taken part in the occasional Friendsgiving and attended holiday parties, but A.B.—after Brant—she hadn’t had a significant other or a family with whom to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Oddly, that felt like a win.

Cade turned and leaned his backside against the cabinets, folding his arms over his chest. She’d give him this—he looked curious, but not judgmental. Why should he be judgmental? Lots of people spent solitary holidays. She happened to be one of them, and she’d done it by choice.

That gorgeous mouth of his tilted up at the corners. “Thank you for choosing to spend the day with me. I don’t usually spend Thanksgiving alone.”

“I know,” Alex said with a sigh. He had a big, boisterous family. “I don’t know why I confessed.”

“Really?” His tone suggested that he thought she’d done it for a very specific reason. She had.

 “All right. I do. I just wanted you to know that I tend to keep to myself.” A subtle warning, but a warning all the same. “I’m glad to be here today”—because, otherwise, he would have spent the holiday by himself—“but there’s no need to worry about me in the future.” Like at Christmas. His mother had asked about her plans, and she wanted to make her wishes known.

“No mercy Christmas invitations?” he asked, getting the drift immediately.

“Such things would haunt me.”

To be eligible for one of the two $15 gift cards, tell me if you had a secret high school crush (I did) and, if you did, whether you think it would have worked out in the long run. (Mine probably would not have.)

I’ll post the winners on Saturday. Looking forward to your responses!



Several years ago, about ten or so, I wrote a book called “The Half-Breed’s Woman” about our hero, U.S. Deputy Marshal Jaxson McCall, who was the son of a white man and an Indian woman. Brought up in Indian Territory, he’s lived a very hard-knock life with his younger brother, Brendan, who is also a deputy marshal.

The heroine is a young debutante from Washington, D.C., Callie Buchanan, whose stepfather, Dunstan Treadwell, has nefarious plans for her now that she is eighteen. She is on the run (who wouldn’t be?) and Treadwell hires Jaxson to track Callie down and return her to him.

Jaxson takes the job, but things get complicated, and soon they are both in danger.

As the years passed, I thought of so many things I wanted to change in this book. Writers do that, many times—and a “do-over” is not always possible. BUT, in my case, I was able to do just that, and what fun I had with this!

I’m re-releasing this fabulous story under a new title and cover, A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE. It’s full of surprises and action, and one of the most poignant love stories ever.

It’s one of my favorite stories, and I have plans, still, to write sequels as to what happens to these characters—they are some of my very favorite creations. I hope you will feel the same.

Here’s the blurb—it tells the gist of the story much better than I can in the space I have:

A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE–A sensual western historical romance that draws you in and won’t let go. 

U.S. Deputy Marshal Jaxson McCall is hired by Dunstan Treadwell, a powerful government official, to track down his runaway stepdaughter, debutante Callie Buchanan. When Jax realizes he’s been double-crossed by Callie’s stepfather, he doubles down to protect Callie from an evil nemesis from his own past who has been hired to kill them both.

The stakes have changed: Treadwell doesn’t want Callie back—he wants her dead. And the man coming after them is a master at murder.

Jax catches up to Callie in Fort Smith, and none too soon, for Wolf Blocker, the man Treadwell has hired to murder his stepdaughter and Jax, is one step ahead of them—and he’s got assassination on his mind. Jax and Callie set out on the stagecoach for Texas, neither of them able to be honest about their circumstances. With Blocker on their trail and Apaches ahead of them, the future is uncertain.

One thing Jaxson knows: he cannot take Callie back to Washington to face an attempted murder charge. Matters are further complicated when Jax and Callie are forced into marriage by worried Cavalry Captain Alan Tolbert to avoid the trouble he believes Treadwell could cause.

Through all the pretense, the hardships, and the deadly danger, one thing becomes obvious. Callie and Jaxson were meant to be together for this new beginning, for this new forever love that neither of them had ever hoped to find. Will they live long enough to see it through?

Have you ever read a story or seen a movie that had characters so REAL that they stayed with you long after the book was finished, or the movie had ended? What characters have stayed in your heart and mind long after the story was over?

I’m giving away two digital copies of A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE today, so be sure and respond in the comments!




Women Earning a Living in the 19th Century from Charlene Raddon

A big welcome to Charlene Raddon who is joining us today to talk about jobs women could have in the 1800s.

Women in the 1800s could not make contracts, own property or vote. A woman was seen as a servant to her husband. However, by the 1830s and 1840, that began to change when they started to champion social reforms of prisons, war, alcohol, and slavery. But life remained difficult for them. Jobs were scarce and often unbearable. 

In 1841, the census included occupations and provided some of the best information about working women, but it was more accurate for men. Women’s work was often part-time, casual, and not regarded as important enough to declare. 

It might have been illegal (as with prostitution) or performed in unregulated sweatshops (a further reason for failure to record). Women may have preferred their husbands not know they earned any income. They could earn small amounts at home by sewing, mending, knitting, canning, spinning, lacemaking, quilting, and even box-making. 

Female employment in the 1850s, 60s, and 70s appears to have been higher than any recorded until after World War II. Family budget evidence suggests that around 30-40 percent of women from working-class families contributed significantly to household incomes in the mid-Victorian years. This might have been even higher during the Industrial Revolution decades, before the rise of State and trade union policies regulating female labor and the promotion of the male as the ideal breadwinner. After the Industrial Revolution in the U.S. some women worked in factories, sometimes with their children. In 1840, 10% of women had jobs outside the home, and by 1850 that number increased to 15%. 

Domestic service was the largest employer for women, closely followed by work in clothing and textiles. Other jobs included confectioner, brewer, seamstress, laundress, maid, housekeeper, waitress, midwife, gardener, dressmaker, charwoman, clerk, and innkeeper. In some areas, they worked in mines alongside children, dirty, unhealthy, miserable labor. 

For my heroine in Maisy’s Gamble, dealing faro in saloons proved a better choice for its earning power and safety since her nemesis considered ordinary saloons beneath him. Being born in a brothel and raised in a gutter gave Gold Kingsley an exaggerated disdain for the type of life his mother lived. Maisy used this to her advantage. 

Dealing faro also allowed her to move around a lot, making her more difficult to find. She spent her adult years raising her son and finding ways to evade Gold. But time is against us all, and she knew he would find her someday. Fortunately, that day waited until the hero, The Preacher, came into her life. 

The Preacher spent his adult years allowing the vagaries of life to rule him. That ended once Maisy entered his life. Bonded by a common enemy and the need to stay alive, Maisy and Preacher joined forces to battle Gold, but only time could calculate their odds of winning the biggest gamble of their lives. 



In this scene, a patron in the saloon where Maisy works is mistreating his dog. 

On impulse, Maisy stood and said, “Play me for him, Mr. Siddens. One hand of Draw. I’ll wager twenty dollars I can beat you. If you lose, the animal is mine, and you leave Pandora.” 

Crude laughter burst out of the man, splattering her with spit. “Ya joshing me, Maisy? He ain’t worth a plugged nickel.” 

Marshal  Harker moved to her side. “What are you doing?” 

She ignored him. “Well, Mr. Siddens…?” 

The drunken bully looked from her to the marshal and shrugged. “Why not? I don’t mind takin’ money from a woman.” 

Harker leaned close and whispered, “He’s drunk and cheats.” 

“I know. Don’t worry. I can beat him.” 

Shaking his head, the marshal lifted his hands in resignation. “Fine. One hand of Draw. But win or lose, Mr. Siddens, you’re done tonight.” 

“Whatever ya say, Marshal.” With that, Siddens righted the chair he’d knocked over, sat down, and gathered up the scattered pasteboards. 

Taking the opposite seat, Maisy drew a sealed deck from her skirt pocket. “You don’t truly think I’d let you use your cards, do you? I’ve known too many gamblers who cheat.” 

“Why, you…” He raised a hand, ready once more to strike out. At the cocking of a six-gun, Siddens dropped his arm and sat back. 

Maisy looked up surprised to see Preacher slip his Colt back into its holster. He tipped his hat, and she acknowledged it with a nod. Why had he protected her? Did it mean he didn’t work for Gold, or had Gold ordered that she be kept alive until he got his hands on her? 

“Maisy?” Jake said, bringing her back to herself. 

Determined to finish what she’d started, she reached into the small drawstring purse dangling from her wrist to find a gold eagle, which she placed on the table. 

Eyeing the coin, Siddens sneered, “Want me ta put the dawg on the table, too?” 

She forced a smile. “We’ll just pretend, shall we?” She shuffled and offered him the deck to cut. After dealing, she picked up her cards. An ace, two jacks, a ten, and a five. After setting the ten and the five aside, she placed the remaining three cards face down on the table. “How many would you like, Mr. Siddens?” 

“Three shiny new ones,” he said, tossing down his discards. 

She dealt the cards. “Dealer takes two.” 

Aware of the mob gathered around the table, Maisy let her eyes roam the faces, quickly passing over Preacher’s. The spectators murmured among themselves, and money exchanged hands. 

“Well, Mr. Siddens, what do you have?” she asked. 

He grinned as he spread out three queens on the table. “Three ladies. Can’t top that, now can ya, sugar?” He laughed and swapped grins with a few men. 

She smiled and laid down her cards—three aces and two jacks—a full house. 

“What the…?” Siddens leaped to his feet. “Marshal, arrest her. She musta cheated.” 

Jake gave his head a firm shake. “No, she’s just a damned fine player.” 

Grumbles erupted from losers as bets were paid off. Maisy called for paper and a pencil. When they arrived, she set them in front of Siddens and ordered him to write out a bill of sale. 

“Bill o’ sale!” he ranted. “I didn’t sell the mutt. I got cheated out o’ ‘im.” 


Siddens did. “Damned dawg ain’t no good nohow.” 

The crowd dispersed. A deputy appeared to escort the gambler from the saloon. 

Back at her table, she settled the dog on the floor in the warmth of the stove and called for food scraps and a wet cloth to clean the animal’s wounds. “I think I’ll call you Hock,” she told him, “after the last card played in a hand of faro. When we go home, you’ll meet Soda. She’s named after the first card played.” 

He wagged his tail as if he approved. 

Jake Harker returned and took his usual seat, grinning at her. “Dammit, Maisy, I can’t believe you pulled that off. That piece of crap is a good card player, even without cheating.” 

“Yes, well, two can play at that game.” 

He stared at her a moment. “You mean what I think you mean?” Leaning forward, he gave her a stern look. “Did you cheat, Maisy?” 

Avoiding his gaze, she began arranging her faro gear on the table. “Someone had to get the poor animal away from him. He’s a brute, and you know it.” 

Charlene is giving away two prizes today!

To enter for a chance to win a copy of Maisy’s Gamble OR a $5 Amazon gift card, just share what type of work you might have done if you’d lived in the 1800s!


Charlene Raddon is a bestselling author of Western historical romance novels. Originally published by Kensington Books, she is now an Indie author. She grew up on old western movies and loved them, but never intended to be a writer. That part of her life just happened. Besides writing and reading, she raises orchids, designs book covers, and crochets.

Challenging the Chef

Between our kitchen model and life in general, being able to have time and my mind in the right mental space for writing has been a bit of a challenge in recent months.

Finally, I finished the sweet and wholesome small-town contemporary romance I’d originally hoped to release in July.

Challenging the Chef will release October 19! I’m so thrilled to share this story with you!

I’m fortunate you can’t gain weight by drooling over Pinterest recipes because I sure found a lot of tasty ideas to include in this book. Writing it made me so hungry and eager to get in my kitchen and create something!

The book is about Owen Thorpe, a former celebrity chef who moved to a tiny little Eastern Oregon town to help his uncle during his last days before he passed away. Owen settled into the community of Summer Creek and decided to stay. He inherited his uncle’s dive bar and restaurant, and is working hard to change the reputation of the Broken Bucket to a destination for people who love good food. Owen gets coerced into contributing a week of cooking lessons to an auction package. He has visions of a middle-aged foodie winning the package and driving him nuts.

Tawni Young is a school psychologist. The demands of her job are stressful, so she uses cooking and gardening as her therapy to relax and unwind. When her aunt wins the Summer Creek auction package and gives it to Tawni as a gift, Tawni is shocked to realize the cooking lessons are with a celebrity chef she had a huge crush on in college.

When they meet, nothing is like either of them had expected.


When an interloper arrives in his kitchen, will romance start to simmer?

Chef Owen Thorpe left behind his celebrity status when he moved to Summer Creek. The quaint town and country atmosphere allow him to seek solace in his recipes. His peace and quiet is threatened when he’s coerced into being part of a big auction package that includes the winner spending a week cooking with him in his restaurant. The last thing he wants is some chef wannabe in his way. However, the real danger he faces is losing his heart when the winner turns out to be a beautiful woman who knows her way around a kitchen.

Burdened by the weight of her demanding career as a school psychologist, Tawni Young turns to cooking and gardening to escape from the never-ending stress of her work. When her aunt gifts her an auction package that includes cooking lessons in the small town of Summer Creek, Tawni realizes the chef she’ll be working with is none other than a celebrity she had a huge crush on during her college years. From the moment the two of them meet, an undeniable attraction sizzles while wits collide.

As they embark on a tantalizing journey of culinary delights, will Tawni and Owen discover the most important ingredient is love?

In this heartwarming and deliciously wholesome tale, Challenging the Chef takes readers on a savory adventure filled with sweet romance.



If you could win an experience with a celebrity,

who would you choose and what would the experience be? 

Share your answer for a chance to win an autographed copy of

Catching the Cowboy,

the first book in the Summer Creek series.

I’d love the chance to learn photography from someone who has great skill at it, especially for shooting live action (like rodeos). One of my favorites is Matt Cohen.


My Favorite Things (and a giveaway!) by Cheryl Pierson



I have a LOT of “favorite things” – probably like most of y’all do. But one of them that is kind of unique, in a way, is poetry of all kinds. This might seem natural for someone who is a writer, but I don’t think that’s always the case.

For instance, in the world of music, I can APPRECIATE what the Beatles did for music and especially for rock and roll—no doubt they were talented in so many ways, and influenced the world of music for generations to come—but I was not ever a huge fan of their music. So that being said, I think there are a lot of people who are excellent writers but aren’t very interested in poetry.

I was read to a LOT by my family when I was young, and of course, nursery rhymes were the beginning of my love of verse. Then, of course, the songs that I learned were my second “teacher” of rhythm and rhyme.

Isn’t it amazing how lines from a poem can affect us our entire lives? Sometimes, the patterns of the rhythm and rhyme of poetry can reach us as nothing else can.

Growing up in the 60’s, the wonderful music all around me at that time fortified my love of poetry. There are too many songs to mention, but like the old Cotton, Inc., commercial used to say, it was “the fabric of our lives” and remains that way.

Do you remember a favorite childhood poem? Remember the one by Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Swing”? Here’s the first verse:

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!

Simple, yes? There is a tune that goes with it. I can’t tell you how often I sang that as I swung on my own swing set as a kid. Great memories! Here’s a portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson–he was fairly young when he died but he left a wonderful legacy of poetry and stories!


A few years older, enter “Puff, the Magic Dragon”, written by Leonard Lipton/Peter Yarrow. Peter Yarrow was the “Peter” of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. There have been lots of explanations of the lyrics, but to me, it was always about the boy, Jackie Paper, growing up and losing his childlike imagination. Puff is relegated to going back to his cave by the end of the song since Jackie is grown now, but here is the hopeful beginning verse:

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff

And brought him strings, and sealing wax, and other fancy stuff.


Of course, I vowed I would never be like Jackie—I would ALWAYS keep my imagination! (I think I was successful in that!) LOL

By the time I was in middle school, we had memorized countless poems—an assignment most of my classmates detested, but I actually loved. I had two favorites in elementary school, and both of these were 4th grade assignments. I remember well, because my teacher that year had us memorize a lot of poetry. These were the two I loved best, and here is a link of Robert Frost reading some of his poems–a rare glimpse of an author such as this reading his works. The second one, I believe,  is “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”:


“Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost     

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.



“Windy Nights” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,

Whenever the wind is high,

All night long in the dark and wet,

A man goes riding by.

Late in the night when the fires are out,

Why does he gallop and gallop about?


Whenever the trees are crying aloud,

And ships are tossed at sea,

By, on the highway, low and loud,

By at the gallop goes he.

By at the gallop he goes, and then

By he comes back at the gallop again.


Evidently, I had a love for windy nights and highwaymen, because this one caught my eye during high school days. This is a very long story poem that was also set to music by Loreena McKennitt, and I’ve included the link here for the entire version of this masterpiece, and also will include the video of Loreena McKennitt’s version set to music. It is really beautiful!


The Highwayman




The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding—


The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.


He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,

A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.

They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.

And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,

His pistol butts a-twinkle,

His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.


Here’s the video of Loreena McKennitt’s version–just a lovely rendition!

As you can see, I had an affinity for handsome, rugged, ‘heroes’ (or anti-heroes) from a very young age—because of poems like these that brought them to life!

As for the softer romantic side of things, this was always a favorite—short, simple, and impactful:


Jenny Kiss’d Me


Jenny kiss’d me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in;

Time, you thief, who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in!

Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,

Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,

Say I’m growing old, but add,

Jenny kiss’d me.


There are far too many favorites to list here! This barely scratches the surface at different times in my life, and were memorable for all different kinds of reasons.

Probably one of my favorite poems of all is “The Listeners” by Walter de la Mare. Many of his poems had a kind of mystical, mysterious quality to them, and this is one of the best. Another one we memorized in high school. I’ve included an image of  a drawing of the author below.


The Listeners


‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,                               

Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence champed the grasses

Of the forest’s ferny floor:

And a bird flew up out of the turret,

Above the Traveller’s head:

And he smote upon the door again a second time;

‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.

But no one descended to the Traveller;

No head from the leaf-fringed sill

Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,

Where he stood perplexed and still.

But only a host of phantom listeners

That dwelt in the lone house then

Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight

To that voice from the world of men:

Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,

That goes down to the empty hall,

Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken

By the lonely Traveller’s call.

And he felt in his heart their strangeness,

Their stillness answering his cry,

While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,

’Neath the starred and leafy sky;

For he suddenly smote on the door, even

Louder, and lifted his head:—

‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,

That I kept my word,’ he said.

Never the least stir made the listeners,

Though every word he spake

Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house

From the one man left awake:

Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,

And the sound of iron on stone,

And how the silence surged softly backward,

When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Do you have a favorite poem? The words in poetry form can be so impactful and meaningful, not just in “regular” poetry, but also in beautiful harmony with music. Ballads, story-poems, hymns—so many ways of expression!

What is a favorite poem of yours? Leave me a comment about your favorite poem and why you love it so much for a chance to win a digital copy of my latest book, LOVE UNDER FIRE, the third book in the PINK PISTOL SISTERHOOD SERIES! Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting and taking a trip down memory lane with me and some of my favorite poems!




A great big thank you to every one who stopped by today and participated in identifying the VERY BEST slow dance songs EVER! This was a fun blog day for me and I hope you all enjoyed it too!

My winners of the Kindle copy of LOVE UNDER FIRE are:


Ladies if you will e-mail me at I will see that you get your prize!

Again, thanks to everyone for participating in this fun day!


Pets in the Wild West: More Than Just Man’s Best Friend–by Laura Ashwood

Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to be here as a guest blogger today. My name is Laura Ashwood, and I’m a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of Christian historical western romance, small town contemporary romance and women’s fiction. I’ve always been fascinated by the rich tapestry of the past and how it intertwines with our present, including when it comes to our relationships with our beloved pets. I’m excited to share some insights with you today about the role of pets in the 19th century, inspired by my own heartwarming historical romance, A Groom for Violet.

Now, you might be thinking, “Pets? In the Wild West?” Yep, you heard that right. Back in the day, pets weren’t just for the aristocrats in their fancy houses. Nope, even in the rough and tumble world of the Wild West, folks found comfort and companionship in their furry friends.

In fact, it was during the Victorian era that people really started to see pets in a new light. Instead of just being useful for hunting or guarding the homestead, pets started to become part of the family. They were there to lend a listening ear after a long day, to provide a sense of comfort in times of hardship, and to teach kids about responsibility and care.

But let’s not sugarcoat it – being a pet parent back then was a different ballgame. There weren’t 24/7 vet clinics or pet wellness plans like we have today, and pet owners often had to rely on home remedies to treat their pets’ ailments if a veterinarian couldn’t be found. When Daisy, the beloved dog of our heroine in A Groom for Violet suffers an injury, Violet was lucky as a local veterinarian is available to come to come and assist. It’s a reminder that even in the rough and tumble world of the Wild West, there were folks dedicated to the care and well-being of animals. And that’s what love is all about, right?

And it wasn’t just dogs that were popular. From wild birds to rabbits, and even exotic pets like parrots and monkeys, Victorians had a wide range of pets. Each of these animals, in their own way, contributed to the rich tapestry of life in the 19th century.

Interestingly, pets also found their way into the literature of the time. In fact, there were even “diaries” that were written from the perspective of pets, providing a humorous take on their daily lives and adventures. These stories offered a unique insight into the secret lives of pets, and how they might view the world around them.

Portrait of a Maltese dog in winter outdoors

Cats, in particular, were just beginning to be seen as household pets. While they were often compared to dogs, cats were seen as having a particular affinity for the home, and became associated with the household, and by extension, women. Conversely, dogs were known to travel outside with their owners, tagging along for masculine activities like hunting.

In A Groom for Violet, we see the profound impact that a pet can have on a person’s life. Daisy is not just a pet to Violet; she is a friend, a companion, and a link to her past. This relationship underscores the important role that pets played in the 19th century and continues to play today.

Click cover to order.

What do you think are some of the biggest differences between pet ownership in the 19th century and today?

I’d love to give away a free eBook copy of A Groom for Violet to one lucky commenter. Share your thoughts on this blog post, answer the question above, or simply tell me about your own beloved pet. I’ll randomly select a winner from the comments. Good luck!

XO, Laura

A Four-Filly Giveaway!

Just popping in for a quick minute today to share a giant giveaway with you. There are over 40 inspirational romances up for grabs in this massive giveaway, including books by four of our P&P Fillies – Shanna Hatfield, Kit Morgan, Kari Trumbo, and me! You’ll also recognize several P&P guest authors like Misty Beller, Janalyn Voigt, Heather Blanton, and Kimberley Woodhouse.

All that is required to enter is to follow the authors you choose on Amazon or Bookbub. Super easy. Click the button below for a chance to win!