My Favorite Things ~ Linda Broday

 

Hi everyone and welcome to our first Favorite Things post! 

I had such a hard decision on what to write about. The first thing you need to know about me is that I’m a collector. I collect all kinds of things – teapots, coffee cups, coins, books, western memorabilia to name just a few.

But today I’m going to talk my rock collection. My fascination with rocks started when I was a little girl. My dad would get so irritated to get home from a trip and find the car loaded down with rocks. He’d grumble for a week and the next road trip he’d lay down the law. No rocks! But it would be same thing. He finally gave up.

I love anything that comes from the earth. It’s like God’s gift to me and I have no choice but show my appreciation by picking them up.

No, it’s not hoarding!! It’s not. It’s just collecting.

Rocks are my beautiful treasures and they fill my heart with joy. I have them all over my apartment in every room. I keep select ones next to my computer.

This is called a Calligraphy stone. It’s a collection of fossils and shells compressed by the earth’s natural movements. It’s supposed to help creativity.

 

I’ve combined a lot of smaller rocks to save space. In the first box is raw emerald, raw citrine and raw amethyst. Blue agate is so pretty and next to it is two pieces of ocean jasper. Then, there’s amethyst crystal and to the left of it is a sugar rock that really sparkles under the light.

The second box contains desert jasper, malachite, tiger eye, an amethyst palm stone, and an amethyst chevron.

In the third box are two fossilized rocks. The gray is a cephalopod and the brown one is an ammonite.

 

I really prize this large piece of Labradorite that my sister gave me for my birthday. It’s gorgeous under the light with it’s changeable color.

 

These are just a few of my favorite things. I probably have two hundred. They make me happy and fill me with contentment and that’s what it’s all about – finding things that bring joy to your life. I’m unable to walk across any piece of ground without scouring it for rocks that grab my eye.

Leave a comment about something you collect and I’ll enter you in a drawing for one of two $10 Amazon gift cards!

Samuel Walker and a Little Bit of History

Are you up for a little history today? We haven’t had any in while. I found this article about Samuel Walker that interested me.

Walker arrived in Texas six years following the War for Independence. He would only live five more years but in that time, he left an indelible mark.  Such as defend San Antonio from Mexican forces, invade Mexico four times, escape from a Mexican prison, and help design one of the most famous guns in Texas.

In 1843, he was captured and put in a Mexican prison. Instead of killing all 176 Texas militiamen, they made them draw beans from a pot. Whoever drew a black bean would die and the ones with the white beans would live. Walker drew a white bean and was marched 800 miles across Mexico’s most brutal deserts.

He eventually escaped and made it back to Texas where he joined the Texas Rangers in 1844.

This photo taken by Mathew Benjamin Brady is in the Library of Congress under Public Domain.

When General Zachary Taylor (who later became president of the U.S.) asked for volunteers for a dangerous mission, Walker raised his hand. It seems danger was something he thrived on. He led the battle for Monterrey and hoisted the American flag.

Have you ever heard of the Walker Colt revolver? In 1846, Samuel Walker met up with Samuel Colt and together they designed the heaviest military sidearm ever issued. It remained the heaviest for 88 years. It had a nine-inch barrel and a .44 caliber round and an effective range of 100 yards. That’s the length of a football field. Impressive.

By Samuel Colt – This file was donated to Wikimedia Commons as part of a project by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See the Image and Data Resources Open Access Policy, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58745572

 

The only drawback was that it weighed 4 ½ pounds, far too heavy for most men to hold with one hand. A lot of users made a scabbard and kept it on their horse, only using it when the need arose.

It was an awesome weapon. Several years ago I had the opportunity to hold one and I had to use both hands to pick it up and even then I could barely raise it to aim.

I’m not a gun advocate but I do admire the workmanship of this. I also admire Samuel Walker and the large life he lived, the mark he left on history, in just 5 years. A Texas Ranger Captain and officer of the republic, he died in 1847 in battle. A fitting end to a legend.

I’ve put the Texas Rangers into some of my stories but never as the main character. I may have to remedy that.

Do you ever find that a piece of history just leaps out at you? That happens to me all the time and I go chasing a rabbit down a hole. I’ll have a new book out in March called Winning Maura’s Heart. CLICK HERE to preorder. Who is the mysterious man known only as Calhoun?

CHRISTMAS CAROLS! – The First Noel

I think my favorite Christmas carol has always been The First Noel. It’s such a beautiful, very old song that tells the story of the night of Baby Jesus’s birth and how the event astounded the rich and poor alike, from shepherds to wise men bringing riches. I always get a lump in my throat to imagine such a scene and how the news affected so many people, especially in an age where getting news out took so long. This however, sped across the countryside carried by angels.

I put the carol in my latest book Hope’s Angel and my scarred hero played it on the violin. I just adore violin music. It really speaks to me. I found a violin version on YouTube that made the hair on my neck rise. Take a listen.

This song was written around 1400-1500 AD but the author’s name has long been lost. However, it was first set to music in 1823 by William B. Sandys and has been sung in churches and by many recording artists through the years. The First Noel was first recorded by The Columbia Quartet in December 1917. 

The inspiration for the story comes from dramatizations of favorite Bible stories for holidays which were called Miracle Plays and were very popular back in medieval times. The word Noel is French and means Christmas.

The First Noel by Gabby Barrett was so popular in 2020 that it was #78 in the top 100 chart for the first time.

Whether you say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or something else I wish you nothing but the best.

 

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men

Cowboys & Mistletoe – Day 1 – Linda Broday

Welcome to our annual Cowboys and Mistletoe event!! I’m so happy to kick off this week and start you on some Christmas reading. I just love books set during the holidays and they never fail to put me in the spirit. They fill my heart with so much joy. I’m proud and excited to share my newest book – HOPE’S ANGEL!! It’s available in ebook ($2.99) and print. It makes a great Christmas gift for someone in your life.

It’s about a man so scarred from an accident the people in town call him a monster so he’s retreated to the darkness of his home only going out after everyone sleeps. Christmas holds nothing but painful memories. He spends his bleak days playing his violin and working on a statue of an angel he’s sculpting. But the new town doctor, an Irishwoman, is determined to save him. She’ll bring him from the shadows or die trying.

But an illness is sweeping the town of Genesis and doesn’t seem to be slowing. If she can just enlist Jericho’s help in tracing down the root of the problem, it will help him as well as the sick. Yet, forces work against her. Who will win? Dr. Kathleen has to employ everything in her arsenal to save Jericho and the town.

A Christmas story that will tug at your heart and remind you that kindness and accepting others brings so much joy.

AMAZON

Please play the game below and post a comment to enter the drawing for this Western Christmas ornament. Good luck! Winner announced on Dec. 4th.

 

 

Winners announced on December 4th.  US Entries only.

 

Up next this afternoon – JESSIE GUSSMAN!

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?

Come Along To the Town Square

It seems that no matter where you go, almost every small town has a square. Back in the 1800s, they served as gathering places for the community, focal points for important events and celebrations. These were where courthouses were built, where people could sell and buy things, be entertained in concerts, have dances. Politicians often gave speeches on town squares. On the darker side, they used to hold hangings, lynchings, and such on them. Thank goodness they don’t do that anymore. Shops, offices, and cafes surround this area and usually there is a large clock or a fountain.

People decorate the squares for Christmas and often exhibit a manger scene. In a lot of town squares, you’ll find statues or a veteran’s memorial. There are famous squares like Red Square in Russia, Tiananmen Square in China, and Jackson Square in New Orleans.

Town squares held great importance in earlier times, even as far back as the Bronze Age, and hopefully still do in the smaller communities. But in the U.S. they’ve mostly disappeared in larger cities, swallowed up by progress.

The town square plays an important part in my new Christmas book, HOPE’S ANGEL.

Jericho Cane is an outcast, labeled a monster because of his injuries, and shunned by the town of Genesis. He finds refuge in the darkness of his home, going out only after everyone sleeps. A new woman doctor is determined to change that and comes up with a plan to place Jericho’s sculpture of an angel in the town square. Yet when she encounters opposition, the chances of making this work are slim. If she fails, she knows Jericho will be lost for good.

I started this story years ago and set it aside while I wrote a contracted book. I forgot about it until this past August when I ran across it by chance. It was too good to languish in a file so I finished and self-published it. I think in many ways, I was a better writer back then. I’m very proud of this story that holds the message of kindness, acceptance of others, and a healing of wounds.

If you haven’t seen my video, please watch.

Even in this day and age, we tend to shun people who are different and that’s so sad. Everyone wants to be loved.

This is available in both print and Kindle Unlimited. Click HERE.

If you live in a place with a town square, how do they use it? Do they decorate at Christmas? Is it a place for singing, dancing? Buying or selling? I have four copies of Hope’s Angel to give away so be sure to leave a comment.

A New Christmas Story

 

I’m so excited. I have a new Christmas novella that’s on preorder now and I think you might like it. HOPE’S ANGEL (Releasing October 4th) is set in the fictional town of Genesis where the real town of Thurber, Texas once was a thriving community. It contained the only coal mine in the state and it was also the only company run town. It was owned by the Texas and Pacific Coal Company. Nothing was free enterprise, not even the doctor. Everyone was paid in company script that could only be spent in the company store.

Jericho Cane lives there and he and his partner sell beef to the company to feed the miners. But Jericho never steps foot out of his house until after everyone goes to sleep. He suffered a horrible accident while saving a group of children from a burning train wreck and townsfolk call him a monster. So he hides.

Christmas holds painful memories so it’s nothing he wants to celebrate. His daylight hours are spent working on the sculpture of an angel holding the hand of a little girl. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do with it when it’s done and he doesn’t care. It’s for himself really.

But a pretty new doctor arrives and she’s not frightened of him. She sees his pain and is determined to help him. She’ll find him something worth living for.

I wrote the first five chapters of this story eight years ago and set it aside when I began writing for Sourcebooks. To my surprise, I ran across it recently and decided to finish it. The story of acceptance and compassion needs to be read and so you’ll all be able to in a matter of weeks.

But back to Thurber. Back in 1886, immigrants flooded in from Italy, Germany, Ireland, and many other countries, all looking for work. The Texas and Pacific Coal Company hired all ages–even boys as young as fourteen. This picture of a group of them isn’t very good. I see the look of despair on their faces and want to cry. Immigrants had it so rough and were taken advantage of at every turn.

Once the coal played out, the company turned to manufacturing brick. They paved uncounted streets in our growing state a great many of which are still being used today.

I visited there a couple of times but it’s now a ghost town. Nothing much remains except one restaurant called The Smoke Stack. If you’re ever that way, stop in. The food is excellent. My sister and I visited the cemetery and were struck by the sheer number of children’s graves. I’m not sure what happened to them but it was very sad seeing the little lambs on top of the tombstones. Maybe some kind of epidemic.

The book releases on October 4th, just right around the corner. Preorder now: https://www.amazon.com/Hopes-Angel-Sweet-Christmas-Romance-ebook/dp/B0BC2JVJYW/ref=sr_1_1?tag=pettpist-20

Okay, lets talk. When do you start reading Christmas stories? Just during the Christmas season or all year long?

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one commenter.

I’ll be giving away some copies of this book next month so watch for it.

Also, we’re going to have a Love Train wrap up party on Facebook Thursday, Sept 22, 2022 from 10:00 am (CST) to 7:00 pm (CST)

LOTS OF GIVEAWAYS IN ADDITION TO A $100 GRAND PRIZE!!!!

The schedule in the image is Pacific Time

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2143576775865837

It’s Yee-Haw Day!

Welcome to Yee-Haw Day, the once-a-month day we’ve reserved to share our news with you – all sorts of fun news!

So check out the post below to get the details on the kinds of things that make us go Yee-Haw!!

Linda Broday

EXCITING COVER REVEAL!!!

A new Christmas novella releasing October 4!

It’s up for Preorder now! Click on the cover to take you to Amazon.

HOPE’S ANGEL is Kindle Unlimited

AMAZON

 

Karen Kay

Recently Google gave authors a chance to make their books into an audio book.  Now, I admit the reader is an AI, and they had various different ones.

But, I’ve just discovered that different and various words are not pronounced correctly…as well as other additives or problems.  And so I’ve reduced the price on the audio books from $14.95 to $7.95…about half price.

These audio books are the full book — about 10 hours.  Don’t know about you, but, I love audio books and so if you love to listen to the books, here is a good opportunity.  I have six of these audio books up and available at Google and I’ve attach a link to the audio book.  Again, there are errors in pronouncing words and some cyber gibberish in the beginning of the book.  And, so here are about 60 hours of audio books reduced to half price.

THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME:

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Karen_Kay_The_Eagle_and_the_Flame?id=AQAAAED8nXDdnM

IRON WOLF’S BRIDE:

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Karen_Kay_Iron_Wolf_s_Bride?id=AQAAAED8HQFd7M

 

 

 

BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER:

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Karen_Kay_Blue_Thunder_and_the_Flower?id=AQAAAED8nRfd-M

THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF:

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Karen_Kay_The_Princess_and_the_Wolf?id=AQAAAED8_Tu91M

BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY:

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Karen_Kay_Brave_Wolf_and_the_Lady?id=AQAAAED8A2pDhM

 

SHE STEALS MY BREATH:

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Karen_Kay_She_Steals_My_Breath?id=AQAAAED83Ryd8M

My hope is to bring these audio books to you who love to listen, even if there are some errors from the AI.  Enjoy!

Julie Benson

I have some fun personal news to share…

First, my oldest son proposed to his wonderful girlfriend, Kimberlea, and she said yes! Not only is Kim terrific, but she’s fit right in like family since Alex first introduced us. I’m doubly excited because to add another gal to the family. Dealing with the testosterone of four guys alone, can be daunting sometimes. 🙂

My youngest just finished a run as Perch Perkins in the Sponge Bob Musical. The production was fabulous. The cast was Broadway ready. I keep saying if I had enough money, I’d be the producer and send them on tour. If you haven’t seen the musical, it has wonderful messages about friendship, acceptance, and everyone having something to offer. In addition, the music is toe-tapping, and in the end you’ll feel uplifted.

 

 

Lastly, our foster dog Dez, found his forever home. We’d had Dez over a year. He is a fantastic dog–loving, playful, and loyal, but he couldn’t find the right family.

 

Cathy McDavid

I’m excited to share that the digital version of my June Love Inspired Suspense release, WILDFIRE THREAT, is on sale for the month of September across most platforms (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.) for the smoking price (pun intended) of $1.99. If you haven’t read any of my books yet, I recommend this one. The story is filled with edge-of-your-seat suspense and heart touching family drama.

Purchase Wildfire Threat

 

The World of Midwives

Midwives have been around since the beginning of time and they saw lots of joy and sorrow. In 1716, New York City was the first to license midwives and try to legitimize and see them as professionals. At the time, few doctors were formally educated so it made sense for midwives handle births since they did have greater knowledge.

In 1925, a nurse named Mary Breckenridge started the Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky. The nurses rode horseback all over the Appalachian Mountains delivering babies mostly but also treating all kinds of sickness and injuries. The service received high praise for the invaluable medical care they provided.

As anesthesia came about and began to be used in the late 1800s and early 1900s, more and more women sought doctors and hospitals for deliveries. They wanted something for the pain and I don’t blame them.

In FANCY, Fancy Dalton used a midwife to deliver her baby, trusting the woman to give her excellent care. But the woman took her baby and told her it had died, giving the infant to her sister who was plagued by miscarriages.

Two years passes and Fancy grieves for the child she never got to see. Then one night during a bad storm, the midwife knocks on her door and confesses her crime in order to live with herself. This sets the journey in motion and changes her life forever.

 

Stolen. The word still brought chills. Fancy set her jaw. She wasn’t going to be a victim anymore. She’d fight and claw and hold on with the last shred of strength until she got back what was hers.

Today, pregnant women are increasingly choosing a midwife over a hospital setting. My niece had a midwife at home with each of her four children. Do you know of someone who opted for a midwife instead if choosing the hospital? I’m giving away three ebook copies of FANCY so leave a comment.

* * *

This sweet historical western romance is #10 of the Love Train series and is on sale now. Only $2.99 for Kindle Unlimited or free to those who have a membership. It’s also available in print for those who prefer that.

I’m on a book blog tour with Lone Star Literary until the 18th. Enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or one of four copies of the book. Click on the image to take you there.

In October, I’ll have a new Christmas novella called HOPE’S ANGEL so you’ll be hearing more about that in the coming days.

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?

Register For My Newsletter HERE.

Follow Me on BOOKBUB. Please with sugar on it?