Angela Christina Archer and Those Hidden Gems of History

The Fillies are thrilled to have Angela Archer aka London James come to talk about the incredible hidden gems in history. She has a giveaway as well.

Imagine being yanked from the comfort of your home (or, in most cases, your wagon) and thrust into an unfamiliar world where you don’t speak the language, understand the customs, or recognize the faces around you. It’s the stuff of novels, and yet, it was the reality that a lot of women faced when Native American tribes captured them.

I first stumbled upon these captivating tales while researching for my book, “A Terrible Glory,” which delves into the fascinating history of the Battle of Little Bighorn. The more I learned, the more I realized that these women’s stories were not just an essential part of history but also a testament to the incredible strength of the human spirit. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading about them; they were like hidden gems waiting to be unearthed, revealing their hardships, incredible strength, and resilience.

In the late 1800s, Native American tribes captured European and Euro-American women for various reasons – revenge, warfare, alliances, and even survival. These women, who were forcibly taken from their homes, faced unimaginable hardships. Yet, amidst the struggles, they had a spirit that defied even my imagination. Many of these women were adopted into the tribes that had captured them. They were given new names and began to assimilate into the tribe’s way of life, learning the language, traditions, and skills of the tribe.

Take the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, for instance. Captured by the Comanche tribe in Texas in 1836, she eventually became an integral part of the tribe. She married a Comanche chief and raised a family. Like many others, her transformation shows the incredible journey these women embarked upon during their captivity.

I won’t deny that many women didn’t have the same outcome. There were cases of abuse and murder, the dark side to the light side, just as with everything in history. But for some, the initial trauma of capture gave way to a period of learning and adaptation. Most of the women even brought their own skills with them, such as farming, cooking, and homemaking, to their captor’s communities, and, in return, they absorbed valuable survival skills and gained a profound understanding of Native American customs.

Olive Oatman’s story stands out as an example. Captured by the Yavapai tribe in Arizona in the 1850s, she was eventually adopted by the Mojave tribe. During her time with the Mojave, she learned how to adapt to the harsh desert environment and even embraced traditional tattooing as a part of her identity.

When some captives were eventually released or rescued, they faced the arduous task of reintegrating into society. The transition was far from smooth, as they had become deeply assimilated into their captor’s culture. Their own communities often viewed them with suspicion, fearing they had become too “Indian.”

Sarah Wakefield’s story is a testament to this struggle. Captured during the Dakota War of 1862, she defended the Dakota people during the trials that followed. Her actions led to accusations of treason and hostility from some in her own community.

And then there’s Mary Jemison, the famous author who was taken captive by the Seneca tribe during the French and Indian War. She chose to live the rest of her life as a Seneca woman and became known as “The White Woman of the Genesee.” Her story reflects the profound transformation captivity could have on one’s sense of self and belonging.

These women’s stories, so rich in detail and emotion, represent a complex and often overlooked chapter in American history. Not to mention, they challenge our preconceived notions about Native American-European relations.

In the end, they were remarkable survivors and often lived in two worlds, and their lives remind us of the resilience and the capacity for cultural exchange and understanding, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Question time! What part of the Native American history/culture interests you the most?

Leave a comment, and you might win an e-book copy of A Terrible Glory!

BOOK BLURB:

“It is observed that in any great endeavor, it is not enough for a person to depend solely on himself.” ~ Lakota Proverb

They called it a terrible glory and the last great battle for the American West. While the battle of the Little Bighorn was the last stand by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer against the Lakota tribes, to Lily Sinclair, it was the last stand between her old life and her new beginning.

After her in-laws squander away the family fortune, Lily and her husband, Alfred, head west to the mountains of Montana, the only land available to poor people and far away from the debts haunting them. When a band of Cherokee warriors attacks their wagon train along the way, they kill her husband and take her captive, selling her to a Lakota tribe for the price of several horses.

Widowed Lakota warrior Tahatan has vowed never to take another bride after his wife’s death. However, he soon finds himself forced into a marriage with the outspoken, yellow-haired Yankee who challenges every thought in his head.

With Custer’s sights set on the hidden gold in the depths of the Black Hills, the Colonel begins his warpath on the tribe villages. Can Lily overcome the demons of her past and defend Tahatan and his people? Or will she betray them all for the actions against her dead husband?

This book was previously published with the title: “Through the Eyes of a Captive”. When I first started writing under Angela Christina Archer, I thought I would write Historical Romance forever. I have since changed genres, and with this change, my Historical Romance titles now bear the name London James and are predominantly Clean & Wholesome, often graced with light Christian elements. “Through the Eyes of a Captive” has been re-envisioned under this lens and has been revised and edited. *****THAT SAID, I HAVE TO ISSUE A WORD OF CAUTION: this work delves deeper and darker than typical London James titles. Centered on the Battle of Little Bighorn, it paints a realistic, sometimes stark picture of hardships, fights over land, and war, including its toll on children. Despite its serious themes, there’s no profanity or explicit content.

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Regina Scott: In the Footsteps of the Pioneers

It’s not always possible to step into the shoes of a pioneer. I value a good history book that walks me through the social, political, and geographic changes of the nineteenth century. But my favorite way to research is hands on. Don’t make me read about the various ways to hitch a team of horses to a wagon. Take me out and let me hitch them myself. Don’t tell me how to make butter. Sit me down at a churn and let me make it myself. (And if I get to put it on freshly baked bread warm from the oven with raspberry preserves afterward, even better!)

So, I am blessed to have two living history museums within a short drive of my home. One is a re-creation of Fort Nisqually, the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost on Puget Sound. Though it was originally situated closer to the Nisqually Delta, in present day Dupont, some of the original buildings were moved to a wooded area in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park, and other facsimiles were added to represent what the fort would have been like in the 1840s.

The other is Pioneer Farm Museum above the Ohop Valley, on the way to Mount Rainier. The clearing surrounded by forest re-creates an 1887 homestead, and two of the cabins date from that era. With live animals and a smithy, you can really get the feel of living on a pioneer farm. You can grind grain, scrub laundry, card wool, and even curl your hair with a curling iron heated down the chimney of an oil lamp.

Here’s a few of the things I’ve learned:

Make your space count. When you have to cut and prepare the logs, lift them into place, put in a chimney, and add a sturdy roof, you don’t build a 2,500-square-foot California split! The inside of some of these cabins is no more than about ten feet square, and the length often depended on the length of the logs available. You might have a loft or a second story, but the main room needs to do duty as parlor, dining room, kitchen, sewing room, and even bedroom.

Learn to scrape. Sugar came in cones rather than sacks. Cinnamon came in sticks. Even laundry only got clean by scrubbing it over something. Those pioneer ladies must have had strong hands, wrists, and arms!

Follow fashion judiciously. One of the first questions I asked one of the reenactors at Fort Nisqually, who was wearing a large-skirted gown from the 1850s, was about whether they employed the big hoop skirts so popular back East. She confided that petticoats were more the thing out West, and I’m not surprised. How would a pioneer lady have navigated those narrow ladders leading up to the sleeping loft or even squeezed through a door in one of those things?

Whatever I learn, I always factor into my books, and The Schoolmarm’s Convenient Marriage, out November 6, is no exception. My heroine’s schoolroom bears a close resemblance to this one from Pioneer Farm.

Alice Dennison travelled across country to start life over as a schoolteacher in Wallin Landing, north of Seattle. No one there knows the humiliation and hurt hidden in her heart. Then a storm forces her to seek shelter with a handsome logger for the night, and suddenly she’s facing marriage or scandal! Again! Jesse Willets had always hoped for a love match like his parents. But he steps up to save Alice’s reputation through a marriage of convenience. When Alice’s past intrudes, they must work together to discover that true love may not be so distant after all.

In celebration of the new release, I’m giving away a copy of Her Frontier Sweethearts (print in the U.S., ebook internationally), which introduces many of the characters in the new book. When feisty Ciara O’Rourke starts a frontier restaurant, someone thrusts a baby at her and disappears. Logger Kit Weatherly will do anything to protect the niece he never knew he had. Can he convince Ciara to take a chance on them both?

To be entered in the drawing, answer this question: How do you prefer to learn about history?

Bio

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t sell her first novel until she learned a bit more about writing. Since her first book was published, her stories have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese. She now has more than sixty-five published works of warm, witty romance, and more than 1 million copies of her books are in reader hands. She currently lives forty-five minutes from the gates of Mount Rainier with her husband of thirty years. Regina Scott has dressed as a Regency dandy, driven four-in-hand, learned to fence, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research, of course. Learn more about her at her website at http://www.reginascott.com

PALEONTOLGY IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST–by Kristy McCaffrey

 

 

Paleontology is the branch of science focused on fossilized animals and plants, or the study of ancient life. It lies on the border between biology and geology, and in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was usually part of the geology department at many universities because fossils were important for dating rocks.

Dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic Era (sometimes called “the Age of Reptiles”), which spanned from 252 million to 66 million years ago. It was comprised of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods. Early dinosaurs emerged in the Triassic, but they were quite small. Giants such as Tyrannosaurus rex and enormous sauropods like Brontosaurus lived during the late Jurassic and Cretaceous.

 

 

The first professor of paleontology in the United States was Othniel Charles Marsh. He served as professor of vertebrate paleontology at Yale University beginning in 1866. At the Peabody Museum at Yale, he was the first to create skeletal displays of dinosaurs, which are now common in countless museums of natural history.

Marsh and his many fossil hunters were able to uncover about 500 new species of fossil animals, which were all later named by Marsh himself in nearly 400 scientific articles he published during his career.? In May 1871, Marsh uncovered the first pterosaur fossils found in America, along with Cretaceous and Jurassic dinosaurs such as Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Allosaurus.

Marsh was at the front of the Bone Wars, a period of intense and competitive fossil hunting in the U.S. from 1877 to 1892. His main rival was Edward Drinker Cope of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. They both used bribery, theft, and destruction of bones to outdo the other, while also directing attacks through scientific publications. In the end, both men were financially and socially ruined. Marsh died on March 18, 1899, a few years after his great rival Cope.

 

 

There is wide consensus today that birds evolved from small specialized coelurosaurian theropods, a dinosaur clade characterized by hollow bones and three toes and claws on each limb, and today are represented by over 10,500 living species. The most well-known theropod, T. rex, has more in common with modern-day chickens than to a crocodile. Birds and theropods both shared wishbones, likely incubated their eggs, had hollow bones, and were covered in feathers.

In my new release, THE CANARY, the search is on in the Painted Desert of Arizona Territory for fossils of Coelophysis, a small bipedal carnivore theropod from the Triassic period and one of the earliest dinosaurs to walk the earth. It was similar to the velociraptors of the much later Cretaceous Period.

 

Arizona Territory

1899

Sarah Ryan grew up in Texas digging up animal bones and potsherds, but she always dreamed of searching for the extraordinary dinosaur fossils in the American West. When a wealthy benefactress gives her the opportunity to join the team of esteemed paleontologist Dr. Allan Brenner, she eagerly accepts. But when she arrives in the wild and wooly town of Holbrook, Arizona Territory, ready to start digging, she’s faced with the very real obstacle of being a female in a world dominated by men.

Dr. Jack Brenner is looking for his father who disappeared into the Painted Desert two months ago. Mounting an expedition to find him, Jack is suddenly saddled with Sarah Ryan, a young paleontology student hired as an intern to his father. When Jack’s guide refuses to let Sarah accompany them into the wilderness without a chaperone—and a colleague threatens her—he finds himself in a pretend marriage to protect the determined woman whose passion for paleontology was something he once possessed. But he has bigger problems than his beautiful new wife—his father is pursuing a controversial theory about the origin of birds, and it’s attracted the attention of men who would rather destroy evidence than excavate it.

Read Chapter One and find vendor links at Kristy’s website.

 

 

Tell me your favorite dinosaur and one commenter will win an eBook of THE STARLING.

Kate Ryan has just been promoted to field agent at the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her first assignment? Assume the role of “wife” to fellow agent Henry Maguire, already undercover. Only Henry isn’t expecting her …

 

 

Kristy McCaffrey writes award-winning historical western romances with grit and emotion, along with contemporary adventure stories packed with smoldering romance and spine-tingling suspense. Her work is filled with compelling heroes, determined heroines, and her trademark mysticism. She lives in the desert north of Phoenix with her husband and rescue bulldog, Jeb. Learn more about her books at her website, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

 

Graphics courtesy of Deposit Photos. Book covers by Earthly Charms.

Manners and Morals of Victorian America

Like all writers, I have quite a few research books I’ve picked up here and there about a variety of subjects. Here’s one sure to get plenty of giggles—Manners and Morals of Victorian America by Wayne Erbsen. Seems those Victorians had rules for everything.

The book lists all sorts of subjects such as: Business Etiquette, Children, Courtship, Kissing, Dining, and so many more. This is just a treasure-trove of information and I hardly know where to begin.

This has to be #1 though:

Beware of Bad Books – one half of the youth in our prisons and houses of correction started on their evil path by reading bad books, or at best, worthless novels. These books are the nicotine and alcohol of literature; they poison and burn, and blast the head and heart as surely as their cousins do the stomach. (1903)


No wise girl would accept a man who proposed by moonlight or just after a meal. The dear things are not themselves then and not thinking clearly.


Matrimony for women is the great business of life, whereas for the men it is only a mere incident. (1838)


Avoid the pen as you would the devil when you are angry. If you must commit follies, don’t put them down on paper. (1887)


You’re going to love this one!! I can hear your laughing.

We kiss too much. The principles of both hygiene and honesty are constantly violated in the practice. We might well indulge in a perfunctory little peck on the cheek that means nothing. It ought not to be necessary—but it is—to say that kissing in public is extremely bad form. (1907)


It is not allowable for a young man to shake hands with a lady unless she offers hers first. Only those of unimpeachable integrity and unsullied reputation should be introduced to a lady. (1892)


There is beauty in the helplessness of women. The clinging trust which searches for extraneous support is graceful and touching. Timidity is the attribute of her sex; but to herself, it is not without danger, inconveniences and sufferings. Her first effort at comparative freedom is bitter enough. The delicate mind shrinks from every unaccustomed contact and the warm and gushing heart closes itself. (1916)  OH PLEASE!! This had to have been written by a narcissistic man who never married or dated!


What men want in a wife for the most part is a humble, nattering, smiling, child-loving, tea-making being who laughs at their jokes however boring they may be. Women should coax and wheedle us to good humor. (1886)


Ladies, never marry a genius. As the supply of geniuses is very limited, this advice may seem useless. It is not so, however, for there is enough and too many men who think that they are and take liberties accordingly. (1886)


No lady should use the piano of a hotel uninvited if there are others in the room. It looks bold and forward to display even the most finished musical education in this way. It is still worse to sing. (1910)


And one more. These are just too funny.

It is evident that although a man may be ugly, there is no necessity for his being shocking. (1836)


Okay, there you go. I didn’t even get a chance to get into table manners or umbrella etiquette or any of the other interesting topics. I guess I’ll have to save those. It blows my mind that they went to such lengths to have rules for everything. They had waaaaay too much time on their hands back then.

Did I give you a laugh? Which was the funniest to you?

Opportunity Knocked

Opportunity…a situation or condition favorable for attaining a goal.

Back in early March, an opportunity presented itself and I was quick to jump in. I saw FB posts talking about a new multi-author series called the Love Train that Charlene Raddon and Pam Crooks were heading up. They already had nine authors and I didn’t know if they had room for one more or not. But I asked and they graciously asked me to join them. So I did.

I’d always wanted to take part in one of these and Charlene had been after me for years but the timing was never right. Then I found myself without a contract and I’m not a good thumb-twiddler.

Opportunity.

I’m so glad I took the leap. FANCY was born. Fancy Dalton struggled all her life for just the basics. She lives with her mother and both work hard yet never seem to get ahead. Fancy worked waiting tables in a café, dodging young men who thought her name suggested she could be bought. They find out differently.

When I began to think about this story, I kept seeing a seven-year-old sitting on a coffin in a train baggage car. The girl, Piper O’Connor, needed help and she turned out to be a major character in this story.

But back to Fancy…she was attacked one night and nine months later had a child. The midwife told her the baby didn’t survive and for two years Fancy grieved for her son. Then, during a stormy night, a shadowy figure drops a bombshell—her baby is alive!

A stolen child…A desperate mother

Armed with a Denver address, Fancy boards the train. She’s willing to risk everything—even her life—to find her child. She doesn’t know how she’ll get her son from the people who stole him, but she won’t give up.

Luckily, a cowboy boards at the same time and sits next to her. Jack Coltrain is on a mission of his own but her plight draws him. He makes a deal with her—his help for hers.

I don’t know why orphaned children always end up in my stories. I don’t plan it. It just happens. Before, I could turn around, Fancy and Jack had taken Piper under their wing like true mother hens. 🙂

What emerged was a heart-warming story of love and sacrifice and the true meaning of family. This is a sweet romance and is up for preorder now. It releases August 15th and wraps up the Love Train series. This short read will be available in both ebook and print.

Click HERE to preorder. The ebook will be $2.99. I’ll have some giveaways next month.

FOR ALL THE FABULOUS LOVE TRAIN BOOKS THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS CLICK HERE

Has opportunity ever knocked and you found it paid off in a surprising way?

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What on Earth is a Foundling Wheel?

I love watching Finding Your Roots on the PBS channel. Here in my town it’s broadcast on Tuesdays. I just love to watch a family ancestral history unfold and see where genealogy can take these celebrities. On the last show, Henry Louis Gates told one woman that her great grandmother came by way of a foundling wheel.

That intrigued me so I had to go look it up. The term originated in 1198 by the current Pope of the Catholic Church. He was appalled at the number of babies found drowned by their impoverished parents in creeks and rivers so he decreed that these devices offering an alternative to drowning were to be installed in every church in the region.

These foundling wheels consisted of what looked like a barrel cut in half and placed where they could rotate in an outside church wall. A parent unable to feed or care for their child would place the baby inside the container and rotate it inside. This was usually done under cover of darkness to preserve anonymity. Then, they’d pull a string that rang a bell and a nun would go get it. A lot of the babies had some type of disease or infirmity and died, but it was far more humane than drowning.

How ingenious. I found this so interesting. Here’s a picture of one from a church in France.

Courtesy of Lebizarreum Atlas Obscura, Mâcon, France

Foundling wheels were taken out of use in the 19th century and replaced in 1952 with what was called “baby hatches.” It’s basically the same idea but the babies can be left anonymously in hospitals, churches, fire stations and other designated safe places.

In Germany, a baby will receive care for eight weeks and during that time the mother can return and get it if she so chooses. After the eight weeks, the baby is adopted out. Sometimes, a harried mother loves her child but just needs a little break. They give her the chance.

Baby Hatches are found in almost every country and serve a real purpose. In the U.S. we have a “safe haven law” that protects parents from being charged. And curiously, mothers and fathers can leave not just babies but any child up to age 18.

Probably half of all my books have an orphaned or abandoned child in them. I simply love writing about them because they’re so vulnerable and desperately need someone to care. Back in the early days orphaned children flooded the country. On the American Frontier, adults died of rampant disease, epidemics, and childbirth. The lack of medical care contributed greatly.

I have a free short story – The Miracle – up on my website if you’d like to go read it. Click HERE

Also, the Love Train series is chugging right along. Only three more to go until mine. FANCY will be up for preorder on July 1st so watch for it. I can’t wait to share the story with all of you. Fancy Dalton was told her baby was stillborn at birth only it wasn’t and she’s determined to find and get her son back or die trying. It’s a touching story of a young mother’s heartache and discovering love along the way. Here’s a link to the first six – CLICK HERE

Do you think foundling wheels and baby hatches are helpful? There are some who argue against them. Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.

That’s all until next time. Stay cool and happy. And if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, you can HERE.

Guest London James – Monkeying Around

So, this post isn’t book-related, but I couldn’t help myself. And although it happened years ago, I still think about this day often.

Before I get into my little tale, let me start by telling you that I don’t like monkeys. Yes, you read that right, monkeys.

I know people think monkeys are cute and, oh by golly, we send them to the moon and teach them sign language because they are so intelligent. Oh, my stars, how can I not love monkeys? I don’t know how. The point is, though, I don’t like them. They freak me out.

So, with this new-found knowledge of my weirdness, you can imagine how blatantly ironic it is that out of all the homes in this country, I live in one that is one-tenth of a mile away from a monkey rescue reserve.

Oh yeah. It’s true. I can see it from my house.

Don’t get me wrong; I think what this woman is doing is a very commendable thing. She’s giving these animals a good life, taking them in when no one else will. I applaud her for her work, as I am a big animal lover and believe in helping animals. Not to mention, I bought my home knowing about the reserve, so with that, all I can do is accept and respect that it’s there. And that’s what I’ve done. For the most part, I’ve even forgotten about it…well, not entirely forgotten, I mean, they freak me out, remember?

Not to mention, it’s kind of hard to ignore when every now and then I hear a bunch of monkeys screaming, cages start rattling like thunder, men and women start shouting, and then I hear pops of what I assume are tranquilizer guns. And all I can think is ‘OMGoodness, they’ve killed the older woman and are running free, and you know they are going to come straight to my house, because . . . well because I’m crazy!’

Anyway, with that said, I don’t think about it much . . . at least I didn’t until this now infamous one night.

After walking around my entire property looking for my daughter’s miniature horse, I discovered he was missing. While I know the concept of having a horse go missing is quite odd, it’s the summertime, and my horses are out on seven acres of pasture, so some days, unless I catch them heading into the barn to sleep or heading to the water for a drink, I don’t see them all day. After running to tell the neighbor, her husband informs me that he saw a sign propped up at the end of the driveway of the monkey reserve that read “Pony Found”.

At what point do you have to laugh at how karma can mess with you?

So, armed with a rope, we head up to the reserve. At this point, I’m thinking. “I’m okay. She’ll bring Thomas out, and I’ll walk him home. It’s no big deal. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. All of the enclosures are behind the large wall anyways to detour prying eyes, so I’m sure she’s not going to take me back there. I’ll be totally fine.”

Wrong.

After she greets me at the gate, she motions me to follow her . . . behind the wall . . . into the deepest part of her property . . . THROUGH THE MONKEY ENCLOSURES!!!!

Just before she leads me in through the security gate, she turns to me and says. “Keep your arms down at your sides, okay. And try to keep your distance.” I’m sorry, but I think I just hallucinated. Come again? While I told her. “Okay.” In my head, I’m screaming. “Are you insert a lot of unmentionable words kidding me?” But what can I do? I have to get my pony. My ridiculously stupid pony who will spend all the days of his life on this earth locked up with the goats after this.

She started walking through the enclosures, leading me between several cages that were feet apart. Feet apart, people!!! Some of the monkeys didn’t do anything other than watch me walk by them, but of course, wouldn’t you know some were not happy with my presence. They screamed, hissed, showed their teeth, and worse of all, they reached through the chain-link fencing and TRIED TO GRAB AT MY ARMS AND CLOTHES!!

I think my pony has a death wish . . . it’s the only logical explanation.

So finally, after walking me through more enclosures than I can count, she points me in the direction of a small pasture area, and of course, there is my pony in the far corner…next to another enclosure.

Now granted, I have to give this lady props. The property is quite lovely. The lawn is kept up with; the enclosures are clean, trees are planted everywhere, giving the place a relaxed, lush feeling. It was tranquil…without the screeching from the monkeys, of course.

But back to my story, so as I’m kneeling in front of Thomas, securing the halter on him, about five or six monkeys are mere inches from me, screaming, jumping all over their fence, and reaching through the chain links trying to touch him and me. Of course, he’s not phased. I mean, why would he be? Obviously, he doesn’t mind being around monkeys at all.

Finally, I get the halter on and start leading him out. Well then, of course, all heck breaks loose. Apparently, the monkeys are attached to the little horse, and I’m taking him away . . . I clearly must die . . .

While I made it out safely (albeit left in the emotional state of desiring nothing more than a corner, a blanket, and my thumb to suck on), I suppose all I can do is shake my head and laugh off what will go down as the experience of a lifetime even though I’m still having nightmares.

Now that I’ve shared mine, are there any types of animals that freak you out for one reason or another? Each comment is an entry into a drawing to win ONE of THREE eBook copies of Her Mail Order Mix-up (Brides of Lone Hollow #1). You’re also welcome to join my reader group on Facebook. We have lots of fun there, daily! https://www.facebook.com/groups/4009277229199536

Her Mail Order Mix-Up (Brides of Lone Hollow #1)

Cullen McCray has no desire for marriage and love after the death of his first wife. A self-proclaimed lone wolf, he only wishes to spend his life in his cabin in the mountains, far away from his family’s ranch and his brother. But when Clint dies in an accident, he leaves behind a young daughter and it’s up to Cullen to pick up the pieces to help the girl. The question is can he also pick up the pieces for the woman, whom he knows nothing about, coming to marry his dead brother?

When Maggie Colton steps off the stagecoach in the small town of Lone Hollow, she’s unaware of her intended husband-to-be’s accident. She also doesn’t know about his brother or the condition of the cattle ranch she believed was something other than what it is. Clint hadn’t exactly been honest about everything, leaving Maggie to rough it in an older ranch house, an even older guest house, and a barn that has seen better days. Not to mention hundreds of cattle, dozens of chickens, pigs, horses, and what she is sure is the fattest cat she’s ever seen.

Will Cullen send her back before her bags are unpacked? And if she stays, will Maggie be able to not only win his heart but survive this new life she’s found herself in?

 

Buy Link

https://books2read.com/u/mdd0ry

Grab the series HERE

And With the Bang of the Gavel…

Judges today have a lot of control and clout, but nothing like in the 1800s. And except for federal judges, they have to answer to the people who elect them. In the past, state judges were appointed by the governor and wielded a lot more of power. In addition to hearing cases, they could:

  1. Appoint Deputy U.S. Marshals (the president appointed U.S. Marshals)
  2. Form a posse
  3. Notify a traveling hangman that he was needed following a verdict
  4. Oversee hangings if a sheriff either refused or couldn’t
  5. Step in and take over for a crooked sheriff and/or appoint a new one until election time
  6. In some cases, he could form a sort of task force (or single person) to handle a particular problem
  7. Choose jurors
  8. Oversee census taking and other duties of a lawman if there was none

So you see, they were pretty powerful and answered to no one. As a result, there were a lot of corrupt judges. But the majority were dedicated, followed the law, and did their jobs well.

I’ve never written a judge hero…until now.

In my March book, Crockett Legend is a judge working out of Quanah, Texas. Quanah is only forty miles from the Lone Star Ranch so he spends a lot of time on the ranch, traveling back and forth by train.

However, the Legends’ neighbor the Mahones have started a feud with them, killing their cattle and shooting at range riders. The feud ramps up when Joe Mahone dies under mysterious circumstances and Joe’s only son, Farrel, accuses them of murder.

Crockett has always loved Paisley Mahone only now she’s taken a stand with her brother in the feud and she refuses to talk to him. Crockett doesn’t give up and hopes she’ll soon see reason. It takes a hilarious matchmaking talking parrot to bring them back together.

The theme of this story is things aren’t always as they seem, and perseverance is crucial when it involves softening a woman’s heart. This concludes the Lone Star Legends series but never fear. I’ve started a brand new series that I think you’ll love.

I’m a little sad that I’m leaving the Legend Family behind. I’ve done three series using them in various degrees. That’s ten books.

Question for you: How do you feel about the length of a series? Do some get too long? At some point, do you ever feel they’ve run their course? I sometimes do.

A Man of Legend comes out on March 29th. It’s available for preorder now HERE. Please don’t confuse this with the first book of the series – A Cowboy of Legend. The two are completely different.

I’ll have more next month about A Man of Legend and some giveaways so watch for that.

Right now I have a sale to announce. The Mail Order Bride’s Secret is at $1.99 and will be the rest of the month. If you missed it, you can get it cheap. Click HERE. This is Book #3 of Outlaw Mail Order Brides. She came with a secret that would destroy the man she’d come to love.

Traveling, Christmas, and a Give Away!

Hello, P&P readers. Lacy Williams with you today asking a couple of questions: How far would you travel to be with your loved ones at Christmas? What are you willing to go through to get there?

During my freshman year of college, we had a massive, unusual-for-us snowstorm here in Oklahoma. It delivered a massive twelve inches of snow and the (few) snowplows couldn’t keep up. I was living on campus, and even though I was only ten miles away from home, I can still remember the adrenaline rush and my white knuckles as I drove home for Christmas break with my laundry basket of belongings in the back of my small car.

Probably the worst experience I’ve had traveling home at Christmas was flying cross-country to visit my in-laws for the holiday. This was before we had kids, and between my husband and I one of us is the kind of person who likes to have a list and be packed and double-check the night before. The other one likes to throw things in a bag just before we walk out the door. I will let you try to figure out which is which.

Hubby and I arrived at the airport with what we thought was enough time to check our bags and get through security, but it turned out we were wrong. The airline wouldn’t let us check our bags because it was too close to the flight time and it was possible they might not get on board the plane. We had gifts for his family packed in our luggage and we couldn’t leave them behind or combine them into our carry-on luggage, so basically we missed our flight because of our luggage.

It was devastating for two broke college kids (we were paying our way through night school at the time) to think we had missed our chance to be with our family. Luckily, we were able to get on another flight a few hours later. It could’ve turned out much worse than the couple hundred dollars it cost us.

(Am I wrong or does Hallmark have a sub-genre of their Christmas movies like this? Films about travel gone awry where either the hero or heroine gets stranded in a small town and falls in love while they are trying to get through all the obstacles it takes to get home.)

Fighting to get home for Christmas is the premise of my new release, Christmas Homecoming. Set in 1914, my hero Walt is on a train ready to take the wanted criminal in his custody to a judge where he will face justice. Surprise! His younger sister and her beautiful friend hop on the train mid-journey and suddenly Walt is getting lectures about why he should come home for Christmas when he hasn’t been home in years due to a broken relationship with his father and brother. Before he can blink, the train is part of a hold-up and Walt finds himself in a heap of trouble. It’s gonna take a lot more than he thought to get home for Christmas and to rescue the woman he’s falling for from the bad guys.

This new book is an adventurous romance. Tell me about your most disastrous trip home for the holidays. If you don’t have a story like that, tell me your favorite holiday food.

I would love to give away a paperback copy plus a $10 gift card to one of the readers who makes a comment today.

Thanks for chatting with me today!


About the book:
All traveling nurse Libby wanted was a quiet Christmas to grieve losing her younger brother. She’s on a westbound train heading home when she and a friend find themselves in the middle of a hijacking and then taken hostage by a gang of outlaws.

Walt White is a U.S. Marshal who has been chasing down the Seymour gang for years. But he’s kidnapped along with two innocent women, he must figure out how to keep them alive—and it doesn’t help that he’s completely distracted by the beautiful Libby. He’ll need his wits about him if he hopes to save them.

As they work to engineer an escape, Walt realizes that Libby is resilient and cunning—and vulnerable, though she hides it well. He must give his all to protect her heart and bring her home in time for Christmas.


Find it on Amazon    
Available soon on OverDrive!


Author bio:
Lacy Williams wishes her writing career was more like what you see on Hallmark movies: dreamy brainstorming from a French chateau or a few minutes at the computer in a million-dollar New York City penthouse. In reality, she’s up before the sun, putting words on the page before her kids wake up for the day. Those early-morning and late-night writing sessions add up, and Lacy has published fifty books in almost a decade, first with a big five publisher and then as an indie author. When she needs to refill the well, you can find Lacy birdwatching, gardening, biking with the kiddos, or walking the dog. Find tons of bonus scenes and reader extras by becoming a VIP reader at http://www.lacywilliams.net/vip .

The Origin of a Few Children’s Songs

We all grew up singing songs and some are quite old. Adam and Eve probably had some that they relied on if the truth was known.

In my current work in progress, my heroine and her sister start an orphanage for kids left without parents during a frightening yellow fever epidemic. The year is the fall of 1867. With the recent loss of their parents, the children are very distraught. Maura Taggart finds that singing is one thing that seems to help. So of course, I got curious and had to dive into research.

Here’s what I found.

Mary Had a Little Lamb was written and sung in 1830.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – 1838

Old McDonald Had a Farm – 1706

London Bridge – 1744

Hickory Dickory Dock – 1744

Frère Jacques – 1780

I remember singing in French “Frère Jacques” in the first grade and still remember a few of the words. It translates into “Are You Sleeping, Brother John?” I loved this song and I felt very grown up singing in French. HA! Doesn’t take much to impress a small child.

I was amazed at how far back these songs go. The children in my orphanage grow to love singing so Maura makes it part of a daily routine along with painting. Children love creating and they can forget the sad turns their lives have taken for a little while.

I’m really enjoying this story. I have no release date yet so I’m just having fun. Some of the children become very difficult to stay put. They’re not allowed around in the front but that’s exactly where they want to be. One day they find a puppy tied to a sign and insist it’s a gift from God to let them know their parents still love them and are watching over them. Then, they discover various other items that help make life easier for the orphans. But who is the mysterious benefactor? It’ll keep you guessing.

What other songs did you grow up with? A lot of these started out as poems or nursery rhymes before someone put music to them. I’d love to discuss this. I’ll give away a $10 Amazon gift card to someone who comments.