I have a new e-single out – More Than a Pretty Face. This Harvey House romance pits a woman hiding from her past against a gentleman who believes she is his future. Secrets, coded messages, and Fred Harvey’s famous apple pie make for a delicious turn-of-the-century Texas romance filled with drama and laughter.
Only $2.39 at Amazon and Christianbook. $2.99 at other retailers.
If you prefer print, this story was previously published in the print collection, Serving Up Love.
Linda Broday & Phyliss Miranda
We belong to the oldest continually writing organization in the United States and it happens to be right here in the Texas Panhandle. WE’RE TURNING 100 ON APRIL 20TH! In celebration, Texas High Plains Writers has published a new anthology. With Words We Weave … A Celebration of the Pastis available now at Amazon.
The original group, Panhandle Pen Women, was organized by forward-thinking Laura V. Hamner and quickly boasted 48 members by 1925. We’ve had several names along the way but this anthology of short stories, memoirs, essays, poetry, and non-fiction pieces portrays the history of how we slowly evolved into Texas High Plains Writers. This is our second book that showcases the immense talent in this area. The first released last year and here’s the link: https://amzn.to/2Rf23l8.
UNDER A WESTERN SKY–An oldie but a goodie, and who can’t use a SIX-BOOK boxed set right now for only .99? So come on over to Amazon and snap this one up, with wonderful books by some excellent western historical romance writers! You can’t go wrong! Y’all hunker down and read!
We thought it’d be fun to share some of our favorite holiday recipes.
Here is my Granny’s Fresh Apple Cake recipe. It’s exactly as she wrote it and the way I’ve baked it ever since I can remember. It’s a great holiday cake.
Granny’s Fresh Apple Cake
2 eggs, beaten 1 tsp. soda 1 ½ c. sugar 1 tsp. vanilla ¾ c. oil 2 cups chopped apples (approx. 3 apples) 1 ½ c. flour 1 cup chopped pecans ½ tsp. salt
Flour pans. Turn on oven to 325 degrees.
Cream eggs, sugar and oil. Add flour, salt, soda, vanilla and pecans. Mix well, but do not mash apples. Bake 45 to 60 minutes. Use Caramel Icing.
1 c. brown sugar 1 stick butter ½ c. milk
Cook all ingredients for minutes after bringing to a boil. Add: 1 ¾ c. powdered sugar Vanilla Beat till smooth and put all over cake.
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I hope everyone is planning a wonderful Christmas and you have the gifts all wrapped and ribbons tied. Being with family and eating wonderous treats makes everything so much better. In my family, we have a tradition of making Sausage Cheese Balls — the easy way — and serving them up hot on Christmas morning.
3 cups of dry Bisquick
1 pound of grated cheese
1 pound of sausage (any degree of spiciness)
This recipe calls for no liquid.
Knead everything all together (This will take some time but keep mixing until it’s all integrated into a ball.) Your hand will get very tired.
Roll out the size balls you like and put them on a cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. But check on them so you won’t overcook. Eat and Enjoy!
Do you hear those Jingle, Jangle Spurs? It’s the cowboys filing in to eat their share. Better hurry!
In August, my good friend Livia W. Reasoner and I decided to open our own publishing house called PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS. We limited our submissions to women only, since it’s traditionally been so very hard for women to break into the western writing genre. We also included historical stories as well as western historical romance among our genres.
It wasn’t long until we knew we were going to have to add a contemporary imprint, FIRE STAR PRESS.
As much as we’ve talked about getting younger people involved in reading historical stories, we decided to also include an imprint for Middle Grade Readers (9-12), Young Adults (13-17) and New Adults (18-24). PAINTED PONY BOOKS was born.
Not wanting to leave out contemporary reading for these ages, we also created TORNADO ALLEY PUBLICATIONS. These three imprints are open to anyone to submit to.
Our first anthology at Prairie Rose Publications, WISHING FOR A COWBOY, made its debut the last week in October, and just this past week had already climbed to #49 in Books > Romance > Westerns, #8 in Books > Westerns and #9 in Kindle > Westerns. Our little anthology was in the TOP 10 in two categories!
But with the amazing talent of the authors, Phyliss Miranda, Tanya Hanson, Jacquie Rogers, Livia Reasoner, Tracy Garrett, Sarah McNeal, and Kathleen Rice Adams—how could it not? I’m very excited to have my story included in this anthology with all these wonderful authors.
Tanya Hanson, a seasoned author, also made her inspirational debut with her first full length inspirational western historical romance novel through Prairie Rose Publications, and has a sequel on the way. Her book is called CLAIMING HIS HEART.
Gail Jenner’s Willa Award winning novel, ACROSS THE SWEET GRASS HILLS, will be available shortly, and Kristy McCaffrey has a brand new offering called INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS.
We will also be releasing another anthology in time for Valentine’s Day, HEARTS AND SPURS, and in addition to the eight authors from WISHING FOR A COWBOY, it will also include veteran romance novelist Linda Broday.
We’ve also got some great things planned for our other imprints! Livia and James Reasoner just released a wonderful story for PAINTED PONY BOOKS for our Middle Grade Reader list—THE PHANTOM RANGER AND THE SKATEBOARD GANG—an exciting adventure about a young girl who sees the ghost of her great-great-great grandfather who was a REAL Texas Ranger. This is an exciting read for boys and girls ages 9-12.
Also, from PAINTED PONY BOOKS, Sarah McNeal’s FLY AWAY HEART will be releasing in February, giving us more insight into the Wilding and Pierpont families she has created, with the story of Robin Pierpont and Lilith Wilding set in the early 1900’s. Her other books in this series may be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
We’ve got many more projects in the works as well, and are just thrilled with the way our small publishing house is “coming together” with much hard work from Livia, me and our fantastic authors. We’re very proud of our first three months!
I’m giving away an autographed copy of WISHING FOR A COWBOY to one lucky commenter today! If you just can’t wait to see if you won, jump on over to the PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS website for all the links where it’s available with one easy click!
Claiming His Heart by Tanya Hanson and Into the Land of Shadows by Kristy McCaffrey are also available here!
Have you ever had a dream that “just happened” –before you could think about it anymore, or try to decide how to accomplish it—it was just…there?
One of the things I’ve always “thought about” was opening a publishing company of my own. That would be impossible because as everyone who knows me is well aware, I am NOT a “computer guru” at all. So how could I ever do all the things I’d need to do to open a publishing house? The answer is, I couldn’t.
I’d pretty much let those thoughts go until Livia Reasoner and I were talking about a way to be able to get some brand new, very talented authors “out there” for others to read and enjoy, and this topic came up. As it turned out, we both had the same idea—an imprint for women authors, both well-seasoned and fresh talent, to submit historical westerns and historical western romances.
Since so many women read westerns and western historical romances, Livia and I thought this might be a great way to reach even more women authors who write those kinds of stories. What we wanted to do was provide a venue for these authors to shine—to get their work “out there” with a publisher who is interested in helping give them a hand navigating the publishing waters and seeing that they get their fair share of profits for their hard work. With that in mind, our imprint, PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS, was born!
Livia and I are so excited to be working together. With her bookkeeping, formatting, and other computer skills and her ability to make such fantastic covers for our books I have no worries. It’s my job to edit, promote and do much of the correspondence (cause I DO love to talk about writing!)
Our first venture will be a Christmas anthology called WISHING FOR A COWBOY. We’ve got a wonderful group of authors lined up for this collection: Phyliss Miranda, Tanya Hanson, Sarah McNeal, Jacquie Rogers, Tracy Garrett, reviewer Kathleen Rice Adams, Livia and me. This short story grouping will be western historical romance, in the sweet to sensual category. All the stories have mentioned a certain holiday food, and the story is either built around the food or can just mention it casually. The recipes will be included in the back of the book, and we are just having a fantastic time with this! WISHING FOR A COWBOY will be available November 1, 2013, in print and digital formats—it’ll make a great Christmas gift for anyone!
We also have another anthology of cowboy romance coming your way for Valentine’s Day! It’s called HEARTS AND SPURS, and in addition to all the fine writers listed above, our fellow filly Linda Broday also has a story to contribute. These stories will be a bit “steamier” than the sweet stories in Wishing for a Cowboy. Well, it IS Valentine’s Day!
But it doesn’t stop there! I have a novel coming out early next year called THE HALF-BREED’S WOMAN. More about that in the future, but I am so excited about it that it’s really hard to keep it under wraps a while longer.
Once we opened PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS, we got e-mails from writers who wanted to know if we had a children’s line? Did we have a contemporary/futuristic line? Well, how could we say no? So, for the younger readers of western/historical stories (Middle Grade 9-12, Young Adult 13-17, and New Adult 18-24) we opened PAINTED PONY BOOKS. We’ve already had several submissions for this line and look forward to bringing out some excellent quality reading materials from this imprint.
In addition, we opened FIRE STAR PRESS for contemporary/futuristic books for adult readers, and TORNADO ALLEY PUBLICATIONS for young readers of this same genre. We are having a ball with all this, and are so thrilled with the submissions we have received. Our main goal is to help authors receive the royalty money they are due, and to provide some wonderful reading material for all ages.
For our Retro Week, my choice is a blog I wrote back in 2007, the year P&P went online.I’m not sure how many of you have read it.
The cowboy had a whole passel of unwritten codes and sayings about how to conduct themselves in the West. In fact, they’d probably fill an entire book. They were usually short and blunt because the cowboy was sparing of his words. But they were brimming with a lot of wisdom. Breaking one of these rules might land you in a heap of trouble.
Love and protect your family.
Be gentle and kind to your horse.
Respect yourself and others.
Treat the land well and it’ll be good to you.
Don’t spit on the sidewalk.
Keep a lid on your can of cuss-words in the company of womenfolk.
Don’t stick your nose in where it doesn’t belong or it might get broken.
And the list goes on. The saying that sticks in my mind lately is this one—“Dance With The One That Brung You.”
It was considered proper etiquette for a lady to always remember who brought her to the dance and to show her appreciation by nothing less than dancing with him. Abandoning her escort to dance with another was considered ill-advised, not to say unmannerly, and tantamount to throwing down the gauntlet. It was a spurning that could lead to serious consequences—and had sometimes been known to cause a case of lead poisoning.
Grant you, society today is very different from the way it was a hundred or so years ago. But, most of us who remember the unwritten rules of etiquette fare much better than those who’ve thrown them away. Believe you me, I still cut a wide berth around someone who hawks up a big wad of phlegm and spits it on the sidewalk. That’s gross. And we sure haven’t done too good a job at taking care of the land. We’ve polluted and ravaged what once was so bountiful.
I remember my mama’s teachings and try to live accordingly. So far her wisdom has steered me in the right direction. When I was born in the late 1940’s my parents, two sisters, a brother, and me lived in a tent. Here’s a picture of it and of me. This was my first experience with riding a horse. It took my parents a long time to recover from the Great Depression. They never had much to begin with and what little they had was lost when the Depression hit. They were long on pride and short on money. The tent was a blessed, prized possession. They’d seen plenty of times when the sky was their only roof and the ground their bed. Not that they complained. There’s something to be said for doing what you can with what you have. I’m not ashamed of having lived in a tent for the early part of my life. Being poor is no reason to hang your head. I think if some of these spoiled Hollywood celebs had a lot less money and a more stable structure in their lives they wouldn’t get in so much trouble. Maybe instead of jail the judge should sentence them to live on a working ranch for a year or two? That’d do more good than a few weeks in rehab. That might help them learn to appreciate the wonderful gifts they’ve been given and keep their dadgum bloomers on. Sure couldn’t hurt. Nothing else seems to work.
I think people should always remember where they came from, how they got where they are, and who brought them to this dance called life. I’m proud of my humble beginnings. No matter the success or accomplishment that may come my way, I never want to forget for a single moment the place I came from—the sacrifice of loving parents who are already gone from this earth. They left a treasured legacy in that they gave their kids the very best they could. I know it makes me deeply satisfied to have been so lucky. Because of them I have a clear view of the world and how I fit in it.
I hope I never get too uppity or forget my raising. And I want to always remember to dance with the one who brought me.
Do you have memories of your growing-up years that still influence you today?
Phyliss Miranda is giving today’s prize. The Winner will receive a $25 gift card to Bath and Body Works. Woo-Hoo! Let’s Get Crackin’!!
The following is a short except from Dawn Comes Early. Eleanor owns the Last Chance Ranch. Robert proposes to her yearly, but has never mentioned the word love. This is a good thing—a very good thing. Because even an old hand like Eleanor can’t protect her heart forever.
Miss Margaret is giving away a copy of her book,
so speak up or forever hold your peace!
(Your choice: print or eBook!)
Excerpt 1 — Dawn Comes Early
Robert picked out a clear sandy spot and knelt on one knee. He pulled off his hat and held it to his chest. Most men his age would be at least half bald but not him. His silver hair was just as full and lush as that of a much younger man.
Eleanor gazed down at Robert. “Must you be so dramatic?”
“It’s my proposal. I can be as dramatic as I please.”
“Very well. If you insist.”
He cleared his throat and his pale blue eyes held hers. “Will you, Eleanor Walker, do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
Each year on her birthday he proposed marriage and each year she turned him down—and for good reason. Arizona Territory community property laws would make Robert half owner of her ranch. Her painful divorce taught her the folly of shared ownership and she had no intention of making the same mistake twice.
“How long have we been doing this, Robert?”
“Fourteen, fifteen years,” he said. “But like I’ve told you many times, I’m a patient man.”
“I’m not sure that patient is the right word,” she said. “In any case, the answer is no.” No surprises, there.
Her answer hung between them for several moments before he rose and brushed the sand off his trouser leg. “Same time, same place next year.”
Miss Phyliss is giving away a copy of Give Me a Texas Ranger, so be sure to leave a comment!
In my story, One Woman, One Ranger for our anthology,Give Me a Texas Ranger, I used factual events of Mickey and Frenchy McCormick and how they were forced into marriage. I took that tidbit of history and turned it around where my Texas Ranger, Hayden McGraw, is faced with a similar situation. As a matter of fact, McGraw’s character was developed from a real life crusty ol’ Texas Ranger in the Texas Panhandle in the late 1800’s.
Please note that I am using some quotes from the book, but also leaving parts out, so you won’t find every single word of these excerpts in the story.
Excerpt 2 –– “One Woman, One Ranger” in Give Me A Texas Ranger
Not only was he tired, hungry, and dirty, but technically, Hayden McGraw guessed he was still on suspension with the Texas Rangers. The last thing he needed was to become involved in the quarrel that seemed to be brewing in Buffalo Springs, Texas. It wasn’t any of his concern … yet.
First Lieutenant McGraw finds a place to quench his thirst where he walks right into the middle of a room full of grumpy towns folks, including an old toad named Baldy, waiting on the Justice of the Peace to commence a meeting …
“Where’s that dern justice of the peace anyways?” A boisterous voice boomed. “He called this meeting.”
“Probably at Molly Lou’s showing off his new book of marriage licenses, trying to make the gamblers and dancehall girls see the error of their ways,” Mr. Baldy answered. “He says you’ve gotta get hitched if you’re livin’ without benefit of clergy–“
“What in the heck is that supposed to mean?” A woman, not so lady like, spouted.
“Means everybody in Newman County has gotta get legit. No marriage license, no beddin’.” Baldy’s eyes narrowed, brows knitted together. “I’m jest quotin’ the JP.”
It doesn’t take long for McGraw to encounter the feisty, beautiful Patience Eleanor Stevenson, who has come to town to fight for the rights of the ladies who work in Molly Lou’s, her drinking establishment across the creek. She enters the saloon mad as a peeled rattler ….
“Women have rights, and we’re nobody’s have to! We don’t have to do anything, just because a man tells us to do so.”
The bully of a sheriff takes umbrage at her attitude and threatens to arrest her if she doesn’t leave. Unfortunately, Hayden can see how things are unraveling. The sheriff attempts to physically remove her, but comes up on the losing end of the stick … she punches him accidentally.
Before Hayden can blink the sheriff tries to arrest her, but the towns folks would just as soon see her hanged. Suddenly, the Texas Ranger is faced with … A beautiful woman with a noose around her neck, no proof he is a Texas Ranger, and a pompous-ass of a sheriff with hangin’ on his mind. Ranger McGraw, being the senior law enforcer, tries to take custody of her….
Sheriff Oldham smirked in a gottcha way. “And, I reckon you don’t even know her name.”
Having a knack for remembering details to a flaw, McGraw says, “Patience Eleanor Stevenson.” He pushed his Stetson back with his thumb. “But, I call her Puddin’ Cake.” He turned to Ella, and said, “Don’t I, wife?”
If looks could kill, Ella’s face would be on every Wanted Poster between the Canadian and the Rio Grande….
“Miss Stevenson, uh Mrs. McGraw.” … “Uh, I’m Wilson Scott, Newman County JP. This won’t take long. Reckon we gotta get the formalities out of the way.” He opened a black ledger. “If you’ll both sign here, then all I’ll need is the fee and your union will be duly recorded as required by law.”
“Can’t this wait? The misses and I are tired and hungry. And, I want to clear up the matter of the Warrant.”
“No, sir.“ The JP stood his ground.
“Nope, Ranger. This needs tending to … now!” Sheriff Oldham interjected.
“Gotcha fee right here.” Dixie (one of Ella’s employees) pulled a stringed bag from between her breasts and began counting out coins.
Reluctantly, Hayden signs his name to the ledger.
Ella folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot, resisting the JP’s demands. As if it were Hayden’s fault, she furrowed her brow and sent him a go to blue blazes look which scathed all the way to his toes and back again.
“It’s them or me.” Hayden nodded toward the Sheriff and Baldy, who now held the noose.
Almost knocking the JP off the porch, she seized the ledger. In an exquisite script, Ella scrolled her name across the paper. She shared her frown with Dixie, as she handed over the fee.
Dixie raised an eyebrow and shrugged her shoulders. “Should I let them hang you?”
In less than two weeks our fifth anthology GIVE ME A TEXAS OUTLAW will hit bookstores. This again features me with Jodi Thomas, Phyliss Miranda, and DeWanna Pace. The reviewer for Romantic Times called us a gang of writers and I just laughed, but I suppose that’s what we are. I hear we’ve robbed readers of precious sleep and stolen their desire for TV watching and housework. And so I guess a gang we are.
Sometimes a story comes along that simply begs to be written. My story called TROUBLE IN PETTICOATS falls in that category. These characters wouldn’t be denied. They kept at me until I wrote their adventurous tale.
Larissa Patrick’s father, a cattle baron, summons outlaw Johnny Bravo to the Four Spades Ranch after Larissa’s baby sister has been kidnapped. While Larissa questions her father’s tactics she knows Johnny is the best man for the job. The gunfighter is tough in a fight and won’t hesitate to get his hands dirty. He agrees to find the girl and bring her back, and dispense with the men who took her along the way. But, he insists on doing it alone.
Larissa sees red. It’s her baby sister and she’s going one way or the other. Paying no heed to her father or Johnny’s threats, she saddles up and rides out behind him. And so the story starts.
Together they brave a fierce Texas sandstorm, rattlesnakes, deadly heat, scarce water, and a hail of bullets.
Johnny Bravo is a man to reckon with-but getting the girl and Larissa safely home without losing his heart will take the discipline of a saint. And Johnny’s no saint….
Love so fierce it should be illegal… Fearless and irresistible, outlaws are the original bad boys. Now New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, and DeWanna Pace offer up four sexy and romantic stories for women who love men who know how to pack heat…
Light from the full moon struck her face. He jerked in surprise.
His heart stilled. What on God’s green earth was she doing here?
When she raised her hand to knock, the spit dried in his mouth. He had to stop her. She could ruin everything on top of getting herself killed.
He sprang from his hiding place. Sprinting across the space between them, he grabbed her hand a second before it struck the weather-beaten door. A smothered scream left her throat as he quickly covered her mouth with his.
It was all he could think of to do. Not that he hadn’t wanted to kiss her. Tasting her had been on his mind from the second he’d met her in her daddy’s study.
Larissa Patrick was warm and pliable in his arms, her heartbeat next to his. He could feel it beating wildly through the layers of clothing. Her lavender scent ignited his senses, driving all sane thought from his brain.
What was meant only as a way to effectively silence her became something deeper, some fiery passion that threatened to burn him alive.
Johnny settled his lips firmly on hers and poured his heart and soul into the kiss. His tongue found her parted lips and swept inside to explore the wild honey sweetness of her.
He knew how a wild steer on locoweed felt like.
He knew that one taste of her would never be enough.
And he knew how deeply this woman was in his blood.