Thank you to everyone who participated in Game Day today. Our winner is… Cathy Thomas.
And thank you, all, again! So, so fun to read your responses.
Happy Memorial Day!
Thank you to everyone who participated in Game Day today. Our winner is… Cathy Thomas.
And thank you, all, again! So, so fun to read your responses.
Happy Memorial Day!
is my winner of a
$5 Amazon Gift Card!
Thanks to all for stopping by and talking Crockpots and Instant Pots with me!
Many of us fell in love with westerns from watching them on television. I know I did. So when Jeannie and I teamed up for this Birthday Bash post, it was easy to collect our favorite TV westerns. We tried to find series that covered a wide range of decades, and since it was difficult to rank them by preference (they’re ALL fabulous!), we decided to list them by premiere date. I hope this takes you down memory lane and maybe even inspires some binge watching.
And speaking of binge watching . . . read to the bottom to see the giveaway Jeannie and I are sponsoring. Super fun!
1. Maverick (1957-1962)
2. Wagon Train (1957-1965)
3. Rawhide (1959-1965)
4. Bonanza (1959-1973)
5. The Big Valley (1965-1969)
6. The Young Riders (1989-1992)
7. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-1998)
8. The Magnificent Seven (1998-2000)
9. Longmire (2012-2017)
10. The Pinkertons (2014-?)
In honor of these wonderful westerns, Jeannie and I are giving away the first seasons of Rawhide and The Magnificent Seven on DVD as Birthday Bash party favors. WooHoo!!! Hunky cowboys coming your way.
Leave a comment about your favorite TV Western for a chance to win. We will draw two lucky winners, one for each DVD set.
May the commenting commence!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway). You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.
Just a reminder, there are three fillies participating in a pair of BookSweeps contests this month. The contest is only open for another few days, so if you want a chance to win some great summer reads, now’s the time to enter.
In the Inspirational Category, Margaret and I have books included.
Linda is included in the American Historical grouping.
All you have to do to enter is follow us on either Amazon or BookBub. Pretty painless. I’m giving away my RITA nominated novella, The Husband Maneuver. Margaret is giving away her new book A Match Made in Texas, and Linda is giving away The Heart of a Texas Cowboy.
Click either graphic to be taken to the contest site for those groups or click here to go to the host site for all the contest groups.
The more authors you follow, the greater your chance of winning.
The first book in the Ladies of Harper’s Station series is on sale just in time to prepare you for the release of Heart on the Line (book 2) next week.
Emma and Malachi’s story can be downloaded for only $2.99 (or less – Amazon’s price has been as low as $1.99) for the entire month of May. Grab a copy or email a copy to a friend while you still can for this low price.
Click here to download from Amazon. It’s available on Nook and all other digital retailers as well.
While I was writing Trusting Grace and beginning to develop the character of my heroine’s ailing father, it was as if God himself intruded into the sub-plot development with His own idea and what I was about to type totally changed. You know, it’s been said that a piece of an author finds its way into their writing subconsciously. Either way—in my proposal, I had the ailing father suffering from a stroke, but when I began to write about his symptoms it seemed God had other ideas in mind so I went with it. Who wouldn’t when the creator of the world wrote His love story to us?
The centerpiece of my historical romance story is about learning to trust and about finding love again for my heroine and hero who were both widowed. It speaks to the depth of how their characters faced trials through dependence on God. However, as the sub-plot eked onto the page, I finally acknowledged that I would need to do a little research before I went any further—something I hadn’t intended to do. To give you a little background—for five years my husband has suffered from a chronic and rare disease, CIDP, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. It was clear God wanted me to make CIDP the heroine’s father’s illness and not merely a stroke. Could that have even been a possibility during this historical time frame of 1866? I laughed. I rather doubted it, but to my complete surprise I found that CIDP had its beginning as Multiple Neuritis discovered by Robert Graces in 1843 when little was known about the disease. I also found that some experts believe Franklin D. Roosevelt may have suffered from CIDP instead of polio. Wow, God! You knew all along. I smiled and went back to writing.
So what only started out with a story of love and loss for the hero and heroine also became a story of a father/daughter relationship battling illness with lovingkindness and the resilience of the caregiver, my heroine, Grace. It’s very true that God gives us more grace than we deserve, but even more so when we are facing huge battles whether it is death, illness, loss of love, job, financial or spiritual crisis. It was no mistake that three years before when I sent this series proposal to my editor, I called my heroine Grace.
One thing I’ve always enjoyed while writing was the research and it’s easy to get lost in it. So for all you historical writers of the West, when a random or crazy plot line you think couldn’t possibly work for your story, dig deeper into your research. Hopefully, you’ll be wildly surprised as I was and can add that to your novel.
If my story of love, hope, trust and restoration can help anyone who is a widow or have a spouse with a chronic illness help lift their spirits and give them insight, then I’ve written what I was supposed to write.
I’m giving away a copy of Trusting Grace-only in the US, please-for those who comment. The winner will be randomly selected by Petticoats and Pistols.
Have you been a caregiver for an ailing family member? What was the biggest challenge, and how did you overcome?
Hey everyone! Today Crystal L. Barnes joins us at the Junction to discuss weapons of choice and to give away one of her books. Please join us in welcoming Crystal!
What would the Old West be without the Colt Peacemaker or Winchester Repeating rifle? Or maybe your character’s choice would be the Henry Repeater? Or a lady’s favorite, the derringer?
Howdy y’all! Crystal Barnes here and what better place to talk about guns than on Petticoats and Pistols. (Thanks so much for having me back.) Recently I attended my local ACFW chapter meeting where fellow writer and fight scene consultant Carla Hoch spoke on Writing Your Fight Scenes Right. To start off the discussion, we all introduced ourselves and stated our (or our character’s) weapon of choice. Let me tell you, we got some great laughs out of this. We got answers that ranged from magic swords to swinging sickles. Maybe that’s part of the reason that has stuck with me.
What was my weapon of choice, you ask?
A Cast-iron skillet.
Not what you expected, right? I also mentioned the Colt Peacemaker for my hero, but I had to mention the skillet because I’d just recently written a scene in my WIP Hook, Line, & Suitor (Marriage & Mayhem, Book 3) where my heroine cold-conked the guy with one.
I’m sure you Disney-loving fans are thinking of Tangled and Rapunzel’s hilarious use of the skillet, and I have to admit that’s probably where part of that idea stemmed from but not entirely. We joke around in my family and call cast-iron skillets an “equalizer.” J
In book two of my Marriage and Mayhem series, Love, Stock, & Barrel, I did a ton of research on guns because my heroine grew up helping in her father’s gunsmith shop. She played with stocks, locks, and barrels more than she did with toys and tops. J Which is why, when she’s caught in a shotgun wedding with the barrel pointed at her, she can name the type of gun without blinking.
They say when a firearm is pointed at someone their focus fixates on the barrel opening. So how could my heroine still name the gun? I’m so glad you asked. J
In my research, I stumbled upon a Confederate sharpshooter rifle that was so unique a trained marksman could hit a man-sized target at a thousand yards easy. Some could boast two thousand. The price of the rifle was so comparatively high that only the best of the best got them. What made it so unique? Well, a Whitworth sharpshooter rifle had a hexagonal-shaped barrel, instead of the normal octagon opening. Thus, my heroine could stare down the barrel and know its make and model and her odds of getting away unscathed. Very slim to say the least.
Another interesting pair of weapons worth mentioning is the 1873 Winchester Repeating Rifle and the .44-40 Colt SAA revolver (aka the Peacemaker). I used these as my sheriff’s weapons of choice. Why? Because both firearms shot the same .44-40 ammunition. Pretty convenient for a lawman, right?
How about you? What is your (or your character’s) weapon of choice?
I’ll be giving away a FREE copy (ebook or paperback) of one of my stories to one of this post’s commentors. (Winner’s choice of title. Paperback for contiguous US winners only.)
An award-winning author, bona fide country girl, and former competitive gymnast, Crystal L Barnes tells stories of fun, faith, and friction that allow her to share her love of Texas, old-fashioned things, and the Lord—not necessarily in that order. When she’s not writing, reading, singing, or acting, Crystal enjoys exploring on road-trips, spending time with family, and watching old movies/sitcoms. I Love Lucy and Little House on the Prairie are two of her favorites. You can find out more and connect with Crystal at http://www.crystal-barnes.com.
Want to be notified of her latest releases and other fun tidbits? Subscribe to her newsletter.
Last month, I was honored to participate in the annual Romance Literacy Tea benefiting the Literacy Center in Richardson, Texas. Romance authors from around Texas and around the country, join together for a weekend full of events all set to raise money for the cause of literacy. And since it is in Texas, I had the chance to meet several Western Romance authors who were new to me.
Each author hosts a table and visits with readers who purchase tickets for the event. There are a ton of fabulous giveaways in the silent auction, books are sold, and a gorgeous handmade quilt is raffled. When the numbers were totaled, this year saw a record-breaking donation of over $20,000. YeeHaw!!!
The weekend got started with a book signing at a local Barnes & Noble. Thanks to my name being at the end of the alphabet, I was seated next to our keynote speaker, Jill Shalvis. Cool! Such a sweet lady. I enjoyed chatting with her and her husband.
After the book signing, we had dinner at the home of one of the volunteers. We ate yummy lasagne cups, signed our quilt blocks for the raffle, and mingled with the handful of readers who paid extra to join us for this private dinner.
Now, mingling is not my forte, but when I sat at the table, across from me was an avid reader who was an air force wife. When she started talking about California, I asked her where she met her husband. As it turns out, she grew up in Lompoc, my tiny California hometown where her husband was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Not only that, we both played in the Lompoc HS marching band (flute) and her friend’s sister (who I actually remembered!) graduated in the same class as I did. Talk about a small world! That was so fun!
The big event was on Sunday with the Literacy Tea. Each author brought favors to have on the tables. I gave away books, ladies handkerchiefs, and a variety of pocket watches to match the cover of my latest release, No Other Will Do. I shared a table with the lovely Amy Lillard, so all of our table mates got the bonus of two gifts. Being far more crafty than me, Amy made these fun masks for us to use in our pictures. If you check out the back row, you’ll see Melanie and Brittney, two P&P regulars.
What a fun event!
And since I was surrounded by great western romance authors, I couldn’t pass up the chance to support the cause of both literacy and western romance by buying a few books and getting them autographed. And that’s where the giveaway comes in! Jill Shalvis’s book isn’t exactly western but it is small town, so I threw it into the bunch as well.
This is the official release week for No Other Will Do. Yay! It’s always so fun (and a little nerve-wracking) to see a new book enter readers’ hands. I’m particularly excited about this one because it is the first in a new series and based on a town of women – feisty, independent women who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and support each other against dangerous odds.
Emma Chandler is a strong-minded female raised by spinster aunts to believe that women can do anything men can if they worked together. So she invests her inheritance in starting a women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas – a place where women can come for a fresh start. Women escaping abuse. Women alone, who have no means to support themselves or their children. Women looking for a place to practice a trade normally only acceptable for men. All are welcome as long as they agree to pull their weight in the community with honest labor and lend assistance to any sister in need. Following in her late father’s footsteps, Emma runs the bank and the town, offering loans and compassion to women in dire circumstances. But when an outlaw bent on running them out of town threatens the safety of her ladies, she is forced to admit that she might need a man’s help after all. And there is only one man she trusts – Malachi Shaw.
Here’s an excerpt from when Emma and Malachi reunite after ten years of separation:
The first buildings of Harper’s Station finally came into view as Malachi crested a slight hill. Dark silhouettes of pointed roofs rose above the vegetation spread out on the flatland below him. His gut clenched. Emma lived under one of those roofs. The one closest to the edge of town, the old stagecoach stop that had given the town its name.
An odd lightness danced upon his chest as he spotted the building he sought. He rubbed at the spot then scowled when the itch failed to dissipate.
Mal slowed his mount and took stock of the rest of Harper’s Station. A tight cluster of businesses lined one side of the road. A handful of other buildings scattered beyond. Not much there to covet that he could see.
A creak of a door focused his attention back on the station house. A young woman emerged from inside and stepped onto the covered porch. A sophisticated woman with dark hair pulled back from her face and wound into an intricate bun at her nape. A grown up woman of means and mission.
Mal’s heart thudded in his chest as he halted his mount. After all the letters they’d exchanged over the years, he’d thought he’d been prepared to see her again. He’d been wrong.
She curled her fingers around the railing post and leaned forward to look at him. Her brows arched slightly. “Malachi?”
The name fell from her lips so softly, he doubted he’d actually heard it. Must’ve just read the shape of it on her mouth. A mouth within a face achingly familiar yet changed.
Mal stared. He couldn’t help it. His little Emma had grown into a handsome, well-put-together woman.
The long, tan skirt she wore swept the porch steps as she slowly descended. Her ivory blouse puffed up slightly at the shoulders, nipped in nicely at her tiny waist, and swelled over curves he hadn’t remembered being quite so . . . pronounced in the thirteen-year-old girl he remembered.
His collar seemed to tighten around his throat.
“Malachi? Is that you?” She’d reached the bottom stair, her hand falling away from the post.
“Yep.” The short, scratchy croak of an answer wasn’t much of a howdy after ten years, but it was all he could manage.
Then she smiled. No, it was more than a smile. Her entire face lit up with such joy it nearly knocked him from his horse. He’d forgotten. Forgotten what it felt like to have someone look at him like that. Like the world had suddenly gotten better because he’d arrived.
Unable to withstand her beaming a moment longer, Mal jerked his attention down to his saddle and concentrated on dismounting without doing something stupid like fall on his rear. He hoped his impassiveness would dim her enthusiasm enough for him to get a grip on his sputtering brain and allow him to think of something slightly intelligent to say.
He should have known better.
The instant his boots hit the dirt, she hit him. In a full-on, no room to breathe hug.
In honor of release week, I’m giving away THREE copies of Emma and Mal’s story.
For a chance to win, simply leave a comment about one of your favorite strong female leads from a book or movie. Or better yet, real life.
What characteristics make this woman strong in your eyes? What trait do you wish you had more of in your own life?
I set REDEEMING the CEO COWBOY primarily in Reno, Nevada because it’s an extension of The Slades of Sunset Ranch Series and my hero Casey Thomas, is the CEO of Sentinel Construction from the Lake Tahoe area. Casey was born and raised in Reno and he’s come back to expand the business in his hometown. Well, that’s only one of the reasons…Susanna Hart has a little to do with the other reasons.
Reno was known in earlier days as “Sin City”, gaining its name and reputation for underground gambling and prostitution. After gold was discovered Virginia City, Charles Fuller decided to construct a bridge over the Truckee River charging a toll to cross, but the bridge wasn’t sturdy enough and his venture failed. Right before the Central Pacific Railroad came through the area, Myron Lake bought the bridge and land surrounding the area. The sturdier bridge he had constructed soon became known as Lake’s Crossing. In 1868 Lake’s Crossing was renamed Reno after Civil War hero, General Jesse Reno.
Reno became an important freight and passenger center. In 1928, the Reno City Council decided “Sin City” wouldn’t do, they needed a new slogan for their town and started a “motto” competition. The winner received $100.00 and the new slogan and now famous arch that hovers over the main street in town reads: The Biggest Little City in the World!
Susanna Hart owns a home-based business, Sweet Susie’s Pastries and More in Reno, Nevada. Here’s one of her recipes!
Rocky Road Chocolate Muffins (credit to Cupcakes Made Simple)
6 TBSP sunflower oil OR 6 TSP butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa
Pinch of salt
1 TBSP baking powder
½ Cup super fine sugar
½ Cup white chocolate chips
1 ¼ ounces white mini-marshmallows cut in half
I Cup of milk
Grease a 12 hole muffin pan. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in sugar, white chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Beat eggs in large bowl, add milk and oil and beat gently. Make a well with dry ingredients and add in beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin pans.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Enjoy!
Romantic Times Book Reviews: Sands continues the Slades of Sunset Ranch series with a heartfelt story, three-dimensional characters and a storyline that flows with relative ease. This is a SURE BET! Reviewed by: Susannah Balch
REDEEMING THE CEO COWBOY is available for pre-order and in bookstores August 1st.
Ten years ago = ancient history…right?
So what if former rodeo champion turned construction mogul Casey Thomas is back…living right next door? Susanna Hart is busy running her Sweet Susie’s pastry business and raising her two-year-old cousin. Why pay any attention to the man who took her virginity ten years ago, then left town?
Casey still feels guilty for taking advantage of his little sister’s best friend. A helping hand is just what her business—and his conscience—need. But guilt isn’t his only motivation. Casey’s got a sweet tooth for Susie. And the more she resists, the sweeter it gets!
Do you have a favorite muffin or cupcake recipe? How would you feel about your EX- moving in next door? Have you ever been to Reno or Lake Tahoe? Impressions? I’d love to hear from you!
Post a comment to any or all of these questions and a random blogger will be drawn over the weekend to win a $10.00 Amazon or BN Gift Card!
THE WINNER IS
Congratualtions Valri. Contact me via my website so I can get your mailing info and I’ll get copy of A Baby Between Them right out to you!
And remember, any of you who would like to pre-order a copy can do so HERE