Kimberly Woodhouse Finds Stories in Bones

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to travel across the plains of Kansas into what is now Colorado and all of a sudden you see the Rocky Mountains ahead on the horizon?

If you’ve ever driven in this part of the country, you’ve seen it first-hand. It’s an incredible sight to behold. Especially after crossing so much… flat terrain. (Raise your hand if you’ve driven all the way across Kansas or Nebraska. Bonus points if you’ve done it multiple times.)

Out west here in Colorado, we get a lot of tourists that come to see the mountains. A lot of tourists.

One of the amazing hidden gems in our mountains and the surrounding rocky hills and landscapes is the plethora of sights where fossils have been found.

If you’ve read any of my books, you know that I love digging up some good history. And a pretty important part of our American history that a lot of people have never heard of is the Bone Wars.

Two paleontologists—Cope and Marsh—are the ones behind that intriguing title. Why? Well, let’s just say they weren’t nice to one another. Always trying to outdo each other, to be the “top dog”, to write the latest and greatest papers, to have the biggest and best skeletons displayed in museums with their name on it—these men stopped at almost nothing to win. Even going so far to use dynamite and blow up priceless, irreplaceable fossils just so the other couldn’t get to them.

Talk about the wild west.

My Treasures of the Earth series tackles the Bone Wars era while highlighting women in paleontology and the sticky subject matter of faith and science.

Set in Stone is book two in the series and it takes place in Colorado near the famous Red Rocks. Pretty close to Dinosaur Ridge actually, a place where you can see actual Dino footprints preserved in a towering wall.

One of the things I love about this area is the beautiful rock formations. In red, white, and gray. I can just imagine Martha—my heroine in this book—digging into these rock layers.

Her hopes and dreams of being recognized in the field are on the line when a fierce competition to present a complete skeleton to the museum puts her and her team in danger. Add in a good bit of suspense, a creepy villain, the thrill of digging for dinosaurs, and a dash of romance—you’ve got this second stand-alone installment in the series.

To celebrate the release of this book this week, I’m inviting you all to join with me in a little party here at Petticoats and Pistols.

I’m giving away FIVE copies of The Secrets Beneath (book one in the series), and one of those five lucky winners will also receive a copy of Set in Stone.

To enter – just leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about your favorite dinosaur, your favorite piece of American History, or if you’ve ever ventured west to see my Rocky Mountains.

Until next time… enjoy the journey,

Kimberley

 

Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than forty books. A lover of history and research, she often gets sucked into the past and then her husband has to lure her out with chocolate and the promise of eighteen holes on the golf course. Married to the love of her life for more than three decades, she lives and writes in Colorado where she’s traded in her hat of “Craziest Mom” for “Nana the Great.” To find out more about Kim’s books, follow her on social media, and sign up for her newsletter/blog, go to: https://kimberleywoodhouse.com

 

Julie Lence is Jingling Christmas Bells

The Fillies are very happy to welcome Historical Western Romance author Julie Lence! We hope you make her feel right at home. She has a giveaway so scroll down.

Happy Friday, Petticoats & Pistols! I always enjoy visiting with you and I’m blessed to return this year. For those who don’t know me, I’m historical western romance author, Julie Lence. Something about the ‘old west’ spoke to me when I was young and never let up. For over a decade, I’ve been writing about rugged cowboys and defiant outlaws and the women who’ve managed to tame them without breaking their spirit and zest for life. Since we’re fast approaching the holiday season, I thought I’d share with you an interview Camille Prescott gave not too long ago. She’s the heroine from All I Want for Christmas Is You, a short story I released last year exclusively through Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BDGFKF7N

 

Alongside her parents and sister, Camille has lived on the family farm in Texas her entire life. Her father took ill last winter and passed, leaving Camille, her mother and sister to take over his chores and keep the farm going. Even before losing her father, Camille knew she never wanted to labor in the fields or chop wood. Watching her sister don a man’s coat and trousers and struggle to keep up with their father’s chores solidified her determination to find a man wealthy enough to ensure the future she wanted. But, as Camille and I settle around the table in her kitchen, a pot of tea and the heavenly aroma of warm cinnamon wafting up from the apple pie on the table before us, you’re about to discover that the best laid plans are always susceptible to change.

Julie: Thank you for meeting with me, Camille. What can you tell me about Burke Montgomery? What did you think the 1st time you saw him?   

Camille: The first time he came to the farm was with Landry, to help Slade put a new roof on the barn. Slade’s an outlaw and married to my sister. Landry is Slade’s brother. He’s also an outlaw and owns the saloon in Jackson Creek. Burke is his bartender. I only caught a glimpse of Burke that morning as he and Landry rode across the front yard toward the barn. Ma snuck up behind me and yanked me away from the window, bade me to mop the floors. From what I remember, Burke sat upright in the saddle and didn’t wear a hat.

Julie: What was your 2nd thought?

Camille: I really don’t know. I guess I thought him handsome enough, (she answers, adding a dollop of cream to her tea.) His shoulders are a lot broader than Doug McCallister. Doug is my sister’s ex-fiancé and wealthy. He had enough men working on his ranch to guarantee I’d never work in the fields. He seemed to like the way I brushed up against; I was sure he’d propose marriage to me before the end of the year. (She wrinkles her nose.) Burke has the nicest eyes, but he didn’t have the wealth to keep me from blistering my hands the way my sister blistered hers when she took over Pa’s chores… before Slade came along and took control of the farm.

Julie: How did you go from having an interest in Doug McCallister to having an interest in Burke?

Camille: Doug and his father fell on hard times and moved away. Before that, Ma insisted on several occasions that Burke join us for the evening meal. He was quiet those nights and had impeccable manners. (She pushes the plate of ginger cookies toward me. ) Have one.

Julie: I can’t resist; fresh from the oven, they smell heavenly. Thank you. (I bite into the cookie. Mmmm… they taste every bit as heavenly as they smell.)  So, it was during one of those meals that you began to have feelings for Burke?

Camille: Good heavens, no.  His chiseled cheeks may have been enticing, but he was still Landry’s bartender, and bartender’s don’t make a lot of money. (She breaks off a bite of cookie.) Besides, it was right before Doug moved away that Glen Stafford came to Jackson Creek to help his uncle enlarge the Stafford property. Glen has pretty eyes, and gossip around the church yard hinted he had just enough wealth to afford me the lifestyle I wanted. Then Sarah Jane stole him from me. (Camille pouts.) I was heartbroken. (And brightens.) But then, Burke happened along and that’s when I had a change of heart regarding him and his work.

Julie: What do you like most about Burke?

Camille: Where do I start? (She bites down on her fingernail for a moment.) He’s loyal, kind, caring. He loves me, and when he holds me in his arms—arms that are more muscular than any man I know—I feel cherished and safe, happier than I’ve ever been.  He’s a good man, and I’m a lucky girl.

Julie: How would Burke describe you?

Camille: Smug, sassy, bold… He likes that about me. (She smiles fondly.) He’d also say I’m a good cook, the prettiest girl in all of Texas, and the only girl he’s ever loved.

Julie: And you love him?

Camille: More than anything in the world.

To find out just what caused Camille to have a change of heart and determine she loves Burke, I’m giving away an ebook copy to 2 lucky readers. But first…. tell me your favorite Christmas song.

 

As always, I enjoy meeting fans of western romance. To connect with me, please visit my website or Facebook page. Thank you for visiting with me, and Thank You Fillies for allowing me the opportunity to once again chat with your readers.

http://www.julielence.com

http://www.facebook.com/JulieLence

Hugs,

Julie 

 

 

Winning Maura’s Heart and a Giveaway!

“I lie awake and wonder what it might be like to kiss a man, to feel his arms holding me.”

At almost thirty, Maura Taggart had never been courted, been to a dance, or known a kiss. She’s lived the life of an outcast with her sister Emma due to their father’s profession as a hangman.

After tending the sick during a yellow fever epidemic, townsfolk run them out of town again but not before cutting Emma’s hair. Also unwanted are the orphans left behind when their parents died. Determined to make something worthwhile of their lives, to matter to someone, they take the orphans with them and open an orphanage in an abandoned Spanish mission.

The children name it Heaven’s Door because they believe there is a doorway from the orphanage to heaven and their parents watch over them.

Maura discovers a man near death and they take him in, unsure if he’s an outlaw or lawman. When the mysterious stranger can speak, he says his name is Calhoun, refusing to give more.

The time spent tending him draws Maura closer to him. The soft-spoken man has kind ways and loves the little orphans.

With a gentle finger, Calhoun lifted a strand of hair from her eyes. “Try to find someone else. There are hundreds of men better than me. I’m no good for you. Don’t you see? It’s better this way.”

Who is Calhoun? Who shot him? Maura tries to figure it out while keeping her heart locked. She has to keep the children safe and she knows he’s brought trouble to their door.

While writing this story, I did a lot of research and I found that not only were old West hangmen unwelcome once their job was done, but also their families. No one wanted them to live amongst them. Folks were quick to call for the hangman but once he’d dispensed of an outlaw, they wanted him gone.

In the old movies, he’s always alone. Rides in, doesn’t speak to anyone much, does his job and he rides away. I always wondered about their families. In the movies, they were never mentioned.

Even today, there is a certain distaste and even hate for those who carry out capital punishment. For that reason, the executioner is always hidden. We don’t have a name or anything.

I wrote Winning Maura’s Heart in the vein of the story Sommersby where the mystery of Richard Gere’s character is kept hidden. In my story, the identity of Calhoun isn’t revealed until the end but it draws speculation throughout the story.

Is he an outlaw or lawman?

This is a sweet romance and releases on March 7th. Click HERE for an excerpt!

Do you like stories where things aren’t straightforward? Or where certain characters’ true identities aren’t revealed until the very last? I’m giving away an autographed hardback to one person who comments.

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Also, I have a Goodreads Giveaway going on with 50 copies of the book up for grabs! Click HERE to Enter!

 

Thank you for coming.

Misty M. Beller On Unusual Settings (and she has a giveaway!)

Hey, y’all!

It’s always such an honor to spend the day with you! The Petticoats and Pistols reader family is one of my favorite places to visit.

Are you a fan of unusual settings in books? I’ve always loved western settings, especially in the mountains. (especially the Rocky Mountains!) My latest release, A Healer’s Promise, has an especially unusual setting—a secret village hidden in caves in the Canadian Rockies. They’ve been completely cut off from the outside world for a hundred years!

This series has been so much fun to write, and I’m often asked if the hidden village of Laurent was a real place. My answer is…it’s possible! J

I was listening to a historical podcast a few years ago that talked about the Vikings and the female warriors who would sometimes gain fame among them. As the hosts talked about the first Viking raids to North America, I started thinking… “What if one of those groups went farther west than any of us thought? What if they found the Canadian Rockies and lived there in a hidden community for centuries?” The thought took hold, and little by little, the idea for the Brides of Laurent series came to life. I eventually changed the village to be a French settlement named Laurent.

Much of the book takes places in the mountains just outside of the village of Laurent, and some of my favorite parts are the snowy winter weather, hiding in a cave, a horse named Chaucer who saves the day…

And of course, our hero and heroine!

From my mind’s first glimpse of Levi and Audrey, I fell in love with them both. Levi is a British spy, and he’s one of those really good guys. He’s strong and capable. A gentleman, who struggles to protect Audrey, especially when his very presence is part of what puts her in danger. And add in the British accent… (happy sigh)

Audrey is one of those caring people who give freely of themselves to help others—and she really loves doing it! She’s a born nurturer, which is one of the reasons she helps Levi escape instead of letting him face unjust punishment because of his background.

Of course, no one is perfect and these two have their share of personal struggles. But I love their hearts throughout the story. And of course, the way things develop to a sizzle between them! I think you’ll love being part of their story as it unfolds. And I hope you love the wild majesty of the Canadian Rockies as much as I do. J

Today, I’m excited to give away a copy of book one in the series, A Warrior’s Heart.
I’d love to hear from you, what are some of your favorite book settings?

Misty M. Beller

Available for preorder! A Healer’s Promise
USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love. 

 

 

 

 

Ahh, Let the Fresh Air in!

My newest book A MAN OF LEGEND is now available everywhere. This is Book 3 of the Lone Star Legends series and brings it to a gripping conclusion.

Quite a bit of research was necessary, some because I wasn’t sure about the early 1900s as I’d never set a book during that time period. It was really an interesting time with thousands of inventions and improvements in just about every part of life. Automobiles were just beginning to be driven and phones used.

One thing I wanted to add that I had questions about were screen doors and windows. In the 1880s, when diseases caused by mosquitoes and flies began to reach the public, folks started paying attention and installing screens. Then by the 1890s, companies began to mass produce and make them rust-poof and they really took off.

Since my story is set in 1908, I put them on the doors and windows at ranch headquarters of the Lone Star. I mention them quite a bit since Stoker Legend refused to have very much to do with innovations. Up in years at 83, he preferred the old ways.

A lot of people, including Charles Goodnight, slept on screen-in porches. A lot of folks did.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have air-conditioning and always slept with the windows up and doors open in the summer. I can still smell the fragrant night air coming in. I loved that smell. That was some good sleeping. It’s too bad those days are gone now, replaced by manufactured air.

Do you have any favorite memories of a screened porch or open windows? And sometimes we could overhear things we weren’t supposed to. I’m giving away three more copies of A MAN OF LEGEND so leave a comment.

About the book

Crockett Legend has always loved Paisley Mahone, but a family feud sure can ruin a romance. When her father turned against the powerful Legend clan, she took her family’s side and broke Crockett’s heart into pieces. Now her father’s dead and Paisley and her last remaining brother are convinced the Legends are to blame.

If only he can find a way to prove their innocence…

A chance meeting throws the couple together, and when their train is held up by outlaws, Crockett and Paisley have to team up to save a young boy from dying. A tenuous truce is born. Together they may have a chance of bringing the truth to light…if they can get to the bottom of who’s been trying to turn the two powerful families against each other. With so many secrets to unbury, it isn’t long before Paisley finds herself in the crosshairs, but Crockett vows there’ll be hell to pay if anyone hurts the woman he loves…or stands in the way of a Legend in the making.

Here’s my book trailer:

 

 

Guest Author Amanda Cabot – Did You Know?

Research. Authors tend to be in two camps where it’s concerned: those who love it and those who hate it. I’m firmly in the first category. I love learning new things about the time period and location I’ve chosen for my books, but – and this is a big but – there’s a problem. All too often I uncover tidbits that I find fascinating but that won’t fit into my stories. Since I hate to have them languish in my research folder, I thought I’d share ten of them with you today.

The first five come from The Texans, part of Time-Life’s The Old West series. 

  1. Although there’s no denying Stephen Austin’s importance in Texas history, colonizing the area wasn’t his dream. It was his father, Moses’s. In fact, Stephen was less than enthusiastic about the idea. But when Stephen learned that his father’s dying wish was that he ensure that Moses’s plans for Texas were realized, the dutiful son agreed. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

 

  1. One of the terms of the land grant Austin (Stephen, that is) received was that he’d bring 300 families to settle on that land. Though he’d expected that to be relatively easy to accomplish, he was only able to recruit 297. No one seemed too distressed by that breach of contract, and those families were soon referred to as the Old Three Hundred.

 

  1. The Mexican government had two stipulations for land ownership: settlers must become both Mexican citizens and Roman Catholics. Since most of the immigrants were Protestants, it was generally understood that Catholic rites would not be strictly enforced.

 

  1. Because not all communities had priests, couples who wanted to marry but didn’t want to wait for the priest to reach their town would often have a civil ceremony. That ceremony included signing a bond that they’d have their marriage confirmed by a priest as soon as possible. In theory, the bond was legally enforceable, but unhappy couples who wanted to dissolve their marriage simply destroyed the bond and declared themselves once more single.

 

  1. Speaking of marriage, Sam Houston, another legendary figure in early Texas history, had a disastrous one. Within three months of marrying the much younger Eliza Allen in 1829, they were separated, perhaps because of his drunkenness. Fortunately for him, when he married again in 1840, also to a considerably younger woman, the marriage was a longer and presumably happier one that resulted in eight children.

 

My second source of tidbits is T.R. Fehrenbach’s Lone Star.

  1. You’re undoubtedly familiar with the term hidalgo, but did you know that it’s derived from the old Spanish term Fijo d’Algo, meaning “son of someone important”?

 

  1. When Texas became a state, its constitution included some unusual (at least for the time) provisions. (1) No minister could serve in the legislature. (2) Married women were guaranteed property rights. (3) Private households were exempt from foreclosure. (4) Banks could not incorporate.

 

  1. In 1838 Texas became the first part of America to enact homestead legislation.

 

  1. Immigrants, particularly from Europe, formed a large part of the population. In fact, by 1850 European – mostly German – immigrants outnumbered Mexicans and Anglos in San Antonio.

 

  1. Among the immigrants who settled in the Hill Country were a number of intellectuals who formed utopian colonies referred to as “Latin Colonies” because they conducted weekly meetings where they discussed topics ranging from politics to literature to music in Latin. While there was no doubting the founders’ education, their lack of farming experience led to a predictable decline in the towns’ fortunes.

 

And there you have it: ten tidbits that intrigued me. Were you surprised by any of them? Which did you find the most interesting? Can you envision a story with one of these as its basis? If so, which?

Amanda is graciously giving away a print copy of The Spark of love to one lucky commenter.

 

The Spark of Love

 

 

Buying Links

Amazon

BakerBookHouse

Barnes & Noble

Christian Book Distributors

 

She’s determined to start a new life in the West . . . if only the old one will leave her alone

 

When a spurned suitor threatens her, heiress Alexandra Tarkington flees New York for Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country, where her father is building a hotel. But the happy reunion she envisions is not to be as her father insists she return to New York. Instead, Alexandra carves out a niche for herself in town, teaching schoolchildren to paint and enjoying the company of Gabe Seymour, a delightful man she met on the stagecoach.

 

But all is not as it seems. Two men, each with his own agenda, have followed her to Mesquite Springs. And Gabe is an investigator, searching for proof that her father is a swindler.

 

With so much to lose—and hide from one another—Alexandra and Gabe will have to come together if they are ever to discover whether  the sparks they’ve felt from the beginning can kindle the fire of true love.

 

 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than forty books and a variety of novellas. Her books have been honored with a starred review from Publishers Weekly and have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers’ Best.

 

 

Social Media Links

http://www.amandacabot.com

https://www.facebook.com/amanda.j.cabot

https://twitter.com/AmandaJoyCabot/

http://amandajoycabot.blogspot.com/

 

 

Special Ornaments Make Christmas Bright

The day we’ve waited for all year is coming fast and my head is spinning as I try to remember everything. In fact, I feel like one of those bobble heads! I guess it won’t matter. I’m determined to enjoy this special time. I’ll be with family and it’ll be a fun, noisy affair. Quite different from last year when we were all stuck in our homes alone. I didn’t feel like decorating or celebrating. In fact, I was pretty depressed. But that’s behind me now.

This year I put a small tabletop tree up and decorated my door, so I think I’m ready. Nothing says the holidays like twinkling lights, tinsel, and laughter. It makes everything so pretty.

I want to show you some special ornaments that came from halfway around the world. A dear friend who loves to travel bought these for me.

She got the blue handmade one from Budapest, Hungary when she took a Viking Cruise. I really love the old world feel about this ornament. The white Christmas tree came from Scotland and gifted to me by the same friend. This one is special because it came from the land of my roots. I hope to one day visit and see the beauty firsthand.

In this next set of pictures, a different friend gave this Santa ornament to me right before she passed away so I treasure it dearly.  When I hold it, memories of the times with her run through my mind. She was such an incredibly talented woman who made the most awesome things with flowers. The sparkly silver ornament was sent by a reader from Ireland. It adds so much beauty to my little tree.

My heart is full of gratefulness and love. I’m truly blessed to have such good friends who add so much to life. I never want to take them for granted. Friends are like flowers and you have to water and nurture them or they won’t stick around.

Do you have any special items that you hold dear that you take out each year? I’d love to hear about them. I’m giving away one 2022 calendar that I made myself to someone who comments.

Wishing you all so much happiness and love. Whether you spend this holiday with family, friends, or alone, find something that brings joy to your life and give thanks for what you have.

God bless and Merry Christmas!

Christmas in September?

The release of A Cowboy Christmas Legend still has a week to go but I won’t blog again until October. And I do have a few early copies. It sounds odd talking about Christmas this soon but when writing A Cowboy Christmas Legend, I had to put myself in the right mindset because it was blazing hot outside.

The holiday has always so special to me. I grew up very poor and us kids didn’t get much in the way of gifts, but I loved the warmth of my parents’ love that wrapped around me. An apple, orange, and a few pieces of candy were a treat. Then sometimes if things were good, we got a doll or maybe a book. Christmas meant so much more than gifts. We were together, cared for, our stomachs full, and we had no complaints. My younger sister and I shared a bed, and we would talk (giggle mostly) until we fell asleep. She was and still is my best friend.

In this story, Sam Legend has gone to the northernmost reaches of the Texas Panhandle and settled on a barren piece of land. Once a Texas Ranger, he’s now a bladesmith and makes knives. He wants to forget all about Christmas, forget about the events that forced him away from family and friends. He drapes himself in solitude, content to let his hair and beard grow long until looks more like a mountain man than a member of the famed Legend family.

But when his nearest neighbor’s daughter finds out he’s there, she won’t leave him alone. Cheyenne Ronan can’t imagine anyone hating Christmas and she’s not going to let him spend it working if she can help it. So she begins to plot. Hiding beneath all that hair, is a man worth saving.

Then when a half-frozen little boy appears at his door saying his mama is dying, Sam rushes to find her wagon broken down in the snow. He and Cheyenne work to save the woman and offer comfort to the frightened boy and his little sister. As they care for the desperate travelers, Sam and Cheyenne grow closer together and he wonders about the dark secrets lurking beneath her calm veneer. There’s much more to her than he first thought. Slowly, they begin to know each other.

Christmas is a time of miracles and Sam and Cheyenne get more than one. Together, they discover that love can be the stuff of Legend.

In one scene, she’s singing Christmas carols with the children to soothe them. One very old one is Away in a Manger. It was sung long before it published in 1884. Silent Night is even older. The text was written in 1816, the music put to it in 1818. It’s not a carol, but The Twelve Days of Christmas was written during the Puritan days in England. These have been around for a very long time. So there’s a bit of history to go along with the story.

To preorder or to save when it goes on sale Sept. 28th, CLICK HERE.

The siblings in this story, Aaron and Ellen, are best friends and cling to each other during this tremendous trial. My sister was/is mine. Did you have a best friend growing up? Maybe one you could tell anything to. I’m giving away an autographed copy of A Cowboy Christmas Legend to two people who comment.

Please Welcome MK McClintock and a Give Away!

The Four Seasons of The Healer of Briarwood

with MK McClintock

You may have heard the phrase “The seasons of our lives . . .” and then someone will tell you they are in the summer of their life or perhaps the winter. The same can hold true for a book and its characters. Whether or not intentional by the author, chances are the characters of a story can represent the seasons in a year. I did one of these for the second Gallagher book, Gallagher’s Hope, and explored the idea that I could apply it to the latest installment, The Healer of Briarwood.

SpringRachel

Rachel’s story as a secondary character begins with tragedy, and yet she is the essence of hope throughout the story. Through her, Katharine and Brody see both the end of sorrow and the renewal of life. She has a long, personal journey ahead, and the best of what is to come for her is just beginning.

 

 

Summer—Katharine

Katharine is considered an old maid at thirty years, and while her spring has passed, she has many more seasons to look forward to as she continues to bloom. Like others who have come before her, this is a time for her to make choices and she has big choices to make. She is willing and ready to take risks in life, business, and love, and she does so with courage.

Autumn—Finn

Brody is a practical sort who has seen much of life—good and bad—and has come through it with hope for the future intact. He’s a steady sort with a big heart who isn’t afraid to do whatever is necessary to heal those in need and fight for those he loves, all while living by a code of honor that puts him in good company with the Gallagher men. There is more to Finnegan Brody than anyone realizes.

Winter—Elizabeth

Elizabeth, as the eldest female, is for all intents and purposes the matriarch at Hawk’s Peak. She is not directly connected to Katharine, Finn, or Rachel, nor does she rule the Gallagher clan, but the people feel her presence from ranch to town, and into every home. She comforts, heals, and is a beacon of strength to all who might ask, “Is it too late?” Elizabeth would reply, “It is never too late to live your best life.”

Just as the seasons blend one into the next, the dreams of the Gallaghers and people of Briarwood complement the dreams of family and friends until there is one common goal—hope, love, and the promise of peace.

MK is giving away an autographed copy of The Healer of Briarwood to one lucky commenter! Come in and let’s talk. What season of life do you think you’re living in? 

A man with a healer’s touch. A woman with a healer’s heart.

Doctor Finnegan Brody tends his patients, keeps to himself, and vividly remembers the heartaches and trials from the Civil War and why he devoted his life to healing. He watches the townspeople live their lives, loving and laboring alongside one another, and wonders if one day he will give a woman as much time and dedication as he gives the people of Briarwood.

Katharine Kiely has a deep-rooted stubbornness to never give up, even if it means leaving behind her comfortable life by the sea to protect her father’s health and help expand his empire. When she finally arrives in Briarwood to convince the Gallaghers a spur line should cross their land, nothing goes as she expected.

Finn, with his knowledge of healing the people, and Katharine, who learns how to heal with her heart, join together as the townsfolk of Briarwood face challenges and choices that could alter their way of life forever.

Welcome to Briarwood and Hawk’s Peak, where friendship, love, and hope conquer overwhelming odds.

Buy Links

E-Book: Kindle

Paperback: Amazon ~ B&N ~ Large Print ~ IndieBound ~ Bookshop.org ~ BAM!

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/kDUreawijNQ

Have Telegram Will Travel

 

There are a few things I put into almost every book of mine and the telegraph is one. It was the “email” of the 19th and early 20th centuries. People needed a fast way to send a message, and in the early 1800s, Samuel Morse gave them the telegraph—a machine that sent a series of dots and dashes over a wire.

In April 1856, Western Union began operating and reached peak popularity in the 1920s and 1930s when it was cheaper to send a telegram than call long distance.

They charged by the word and the cost of a 10-word telegram in 1870 was around $1.00, depending on the distance.

It was customary to use the word STOP in place of a period. I found one reason for this being that it was cheaper than a period but I’m not so sure. I couldn’t find the cost of a period listed anywhere. Another source mentioned that it was to clarify the message and since they were sent in a series of dots and dashes, distinguishing periods would’ve been difficult. I believe this.

In any event, messages weren’t that cheap, so people used the fewest words possible.

In my Men of Legend series, Stoker Legend installed his own telegraph on the huge ranch so he could get messages quickly since headquarters was a good thirty miles from the nearest town.

And in my latest book, The Mail Order Bride’s Secret, Tait Trinity used the telegraph to send for Melanie Dunbar, the mail order bride he’d been writing.

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Now I have an offer for you. From today 5-19-20 to 6-02-20 my Texas Heroes series (digital only) goes on sale everywhere online!

Knight on the Texas Plains is FREE

AMAZON  |  B&N  |  APPLE  KOBO

The Cowboy Who Came Calling — $1.99

AMAZON  |  B&N  |  APPLE KOBO

To Catch a Texas Star — $2.99

AMAZON  |  B&N  |  APPLE  |  KOBO

So if you missed one or all of the series now is your chance.

 

Would you have made use of the telegraph system back then? Or would you have just written a letter? The cost of a letter was about 4 cents. Do you know of anyone who received a telegram?