Welcome Guest – Vickie McDonough

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What’s not to love about three hunky cowboys?

When I was a kid, I watched cowboy and western shows like Bonanza, Rawhide, and The Big Valley with my dad. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with horses, ranches, and cowboys. As a reader, my favorite books are set between 1850-1900 in western America. So I guess it made sense that when I became a writer that I would write about that time period. I never expected to write about any other time period, but sometimes God takes us in directions we don’t plan on going. While most of my novels are historical, I do have several contemporary stories. One of them, The Bull Rider’s Bride, released a few months ago.

The Bull Rider's BrideHere’s what The Bull Rider’s Bride is about:

Champion bull rider Dusty Starr is at the top of his game—until a bull throws him and stomps on his leg. He goes home to heal and watch after his grandma until he can rejoin the circuit. While there are no guarantees that bull riding is in his future, his past is alive and well in the form of Gramma’s beautiful physical therapist—a woman he never expected to see again.

Physical therapist Lindsey Lang once loved Dusty, but then tragedy struck because of his younger brother’s recklessness, and Dusty did something she never thought he’d do. He abandoned her, leaving her to mourn her brother’s death alone. Being assigned to Grandma Starr is hard enough, but with Dusty there, Lindsey’s sure her heart won’t survive.

Against all expectations, friendship renews, and Dusty dares to hope Lindsey will forgive him. She’s the only girl he’s ever loved, and he aims to get her back. But friendship is one thing. A second chance at love? That will take more gumption than riding a rank bull—and then some.

Me again. Sometimes a writer will have a book that sticks with them for a long time, and for one reason or another, it doesn’t get picked up by a publisher. Gabriel’s Atonement, book 1 in my Land Rush Dreams series was one of those. After five years, it finally found a home, and this month, Sarah’s Surrender, book 3 in the series, was released.

Sarahs_Surrender_coverWhen Sarah Worley rejects Luke McNeil’s marriage proposal to pursue property in the Oklahoma Territory land lottery in 1901, the ranch hand pulls up stakes and goes after her. But he’s the last person she wants to see. The land lottery gives Sarah the chance to realize her dream of independence and a home of her own. But with it comes challenges she never considered. When her dream becomes a nightmare, she must decide whether to stay on her land or give up and return to the life she left. Luke hopes that by winning a claim, he can give Sarah the home she’s always wanted. How can he prove his love and show the stubborn woman that he’s the right man for her?

The last thing I want to tell you about is a collection of new historical novellas, which I have a story in. My novella, The Hand-Me-Down Husband was one I originally pitched for a collection one of my publishers was pulling together. I submitted two proposals, and my editor chose the other one. The Hand-Me-Down Husband found a home when another publisher pulled together a collection named Heart of a Cowboy.

Heart of a Cowboy cover finalEllen Stewart despises Lance Garrett. If not for him dashing into Isabelle’s life and stealing her heart and filling her head with his dreams, her little sister would still be alive and safe at home. When Ellen receives Lance’s letter requesting help, she rushes to Silver Springs, intent on taking charge of her young niece. A rugged ranch is no place for a motherless baby. But when she realizes the depth of Lance’s despair, she can’t leave him alone. Though everything within her wants to flee back to the big city, something makes her stay. Tessa needs her father, for one—and he needs her. Ellen knows what it’s like to lose all she’d dreamed of. When local church members make a stink about Ellen living at Lance’s ranch, they are forced to marry. Ellen didn’t want a hand-me-down husband, but could their marriage be God’s will for them both?

The three projects listed above represent about ten months of my life. I love creating towns and families, causing trouble for my characters, and then giving them a happily-ever-after. I suppose I’m a hopeless romantic.

I thought I’d give y’all a chance to pick a writer’s brain.

Vickie McDonoughDo you have any questions about writing or maybe writing historical novels that you’d like to ask?

Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for an ebook copy of The Bull Rider’s Bride or a print copy of Heart of a Cowboy. I’ll be drawing two names.

Good luck, and thanks for spending time with me today!

Vickie McDonough: The Lottery For Free Land

We’re very happy to welcome back Vickie McDonough! Her books pull you in and keep you there all the way to the last page, then leave you wanting more. Give her a big Wildflower Junction howdy.

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Vickie McDonough 3 smallIt’s great to be back at Petticoats & Pistols. Last time I was here, I talked about the Oklahoma land runs. After the chaos of the land rushes, where many people were injured and thousands of lawsuits filed over land disputes, the government sought a better, more civilized way to settle the remaining Indian lands. Thus, the decision was made to hold a land lottery.


On July 4, 1901, President William McKinley, signed the Proclamation opening for settlement all land acquired from the Kiowa-Comanche, Apaches, and Wichita Indians, with certain land set aside as grazing lands for Indians and for town sites. The Proclamation provided for the land to be divided into two districts by a line running east and west, with offices at El Reno and Lawton. All registrations for the lottery had to be done at either El Reno or Fort Sill. Applicants were required to designate which district he wanted to live in, because no one was permitted to register for a chance at both.


Vickie OK or bust


Thousands of people came from all corners of the country in hopes of being successful in securing a home on some of the last land available in Oklahoma. The government lottery had about thirteen thousand homesteads to distribute, worth from one hundred to five thousand dollars each. Though it is possible that some claims near the county seats may have been worth from ten thousand to forty thousand dollars.


The registration offices opened on Wednesday morning, July 10th, and closed on July 26th. The registration process was simple. The settler presented an affidavit to the registration officer stating he or she was over twenty-one or head of a family and that he did not own more than 160 acres of land in some other state. Then he filled out a card with his name, date of birth, height, weight, and other information about himself. He was then given a registration receipt.


There were six regular booths where people could register. Booth number one was at the Kerfoot Hotel, and the Boomers were lined up in front of it all day. It was estimated that ten thousand came into El Reno Monday night, and around three hundred slept in line Tuesday night, waiting for the booth to reopen. There were over twelve thousand strangers tramping through the El Reno streets. Nine out of ten registrants were farmers. Although not many women participated, a special registration booth was provided for them. When the booths closed the last day of registration, one hundred and sixty-five thousand had registered in both districts.


land lottery tent

A platform thirty-two feet square was erected in the street on the north side of the Irving school ground. On Monday, July 29, the envelopes containing the names of all who had registered were brought to the platform in consecutively numbered pasteboard boxes. The envelopes were placed in two rotating bins, ten feet long, two and one-half feet wide, and two and one-half feet deep, one for each district, which were revolved for a sufficient length of time to insure a thorough mixing of the envelopes.


Fifty thousand people witnessed the drawing. The immense throng was wrought up to a frenzied pitch, and the drawing of the first few names was followed by a mighty shout that must have been heard for miles over the prairies. Each envelope drawn was consecutively numbered and opened at once. The identification slip, which it contained, was given the same number, and the name and residence of the winner was publicly announced. One thousand names were drawn from the wheel the first day, five hundred from El Reno and five hundred for Lawton.


On August 6th, those who won claims appeared at the land office to select their plots. They were processed in the order their name was drawn. All in all, the lottery was a peaceful endeavor and a great success.


Land Rush Dreams ad


My Land Rush Dreams trilogy features the 1889 and 1893 land runs and the land lottery of 1901. Sarah’s Surrender, book 3 in the series releases July 1st and is available for pre-order now. Click HERE.

Sarah's Surrender


When Sarah Worley rejects Luke McNeil’s marriage proposal to pursue property in the Oklahoma Territory land lottery in 1901, the ranch hand pulls up stakes and goes after her. But he’s the last person she wants to see. The land lottery gives Sarah the chance to realize her dream of independence and a home of her own. But with it comes challenges she never considered. When her dream becomes a nightmare, she must decide whether to stay on her land or give up and return to the life she left. Luke hopes that by winning a claim, he can give Sarah the home she’s always wanted. How can he prove his love and show the stubborn woman that he’s the right man for her?


I’m giving away a print copy of JOLINE’S REDEMPTION, book 2 in her Land Rush Dreams series. Also, I’d love to have anyone who’s interested sign up to receive my newsletter. Just visit this link:  NEWSLETTER

Jolene's Redemption

About Vickie:

Bestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams penning romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is an award-winning author of more than 40 published books and novellas. Her novels include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie was a Romantic Times Recommended Inspirational Book for July 2013. Song of the Prairie won the 2015 Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Her latest series, Land Rush Dreams, focuses on the Oklahoma land runs.

Vickie has been married forty years to Robert. They have four grown sons, one of whom is married, and a precocious nine-year-old granddaughter. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, antiquing, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website: www.vickiemcdonough.com



Vickie McDonough Visits with a Giveaway!

Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on Petticoats and Pistols. I always have a wonderful time here. Don’t forget to leave a comment (U.S. residents only) for a chance to win Jolene’s Redemption!Vickie McDonough 3 small

Vickie OK or bust

I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and I’ve always been interested in the land runs, one aspect of our state’s unique history. In case you’re not familiar with Oklahoma, much of the state was designated as Indian Territory in the later half of the nineteenth century. Over forty Indian tribes were eventually moved there because white settlers in other states and territories wanted their valuable land.Vickie OK land run

Cherokee strip sign up







Once much of the West had been settled, people started looking at Oklahoma as one of their last chances to get free land. They pressured the government to open the Unassigned Lands–land that had been promised to certain tribes, but no Indians had settled on it. The government finally agreed, and President Benjamin Harrison signed the paperwork for what was later called Harrison’s Hoss Race.

Vickie mapGabriel's AtonementOn April 22, 1889, over two million acres of land was opened for settlement in Oklahoma’s first land run. The homesteads were 160 acres with much smaller town lots also available. Anybody twenty-one and older could ride—women, foreigners, and blacks included. The race began with the blast of cannon and gunfire and a cheer so loud it made ears ache. An instant stampeded ensued. In less than a few hours, all of the homesteads had been claimed, leaving many people disillusioned and unhappy because they didn’t get one. In the first book in my series, Gabriel’s Atonement, my hero and heroine ride in the 1889 land run, which led to the settlement of Guthrie, Oklahoma City, and several other towns.

Joline’s Redemption, which released on November 1st, is the second book in my Land Rush Dreams series. It features the Cherokee Outlet aka Cherokee Strip land run, which was held on September 16, 1893. More than 100,000 hopeful settlers raced for 42,000 claims. I’m sure you can imagine the chaos of such an event. Lucky winners settled in sod homes and dugouts carved from the prairie while others lived in their covered wagons. The first winters were harsh as the land tested the endurance and character of its new inhabitants. Many of the settlers could not endure the harsh conditions, and after weeks or months, gave up their dream. But for those who stayed, hard times gave way to better days as crops flourished and communities, schools and churches rose from the wind-swept plains.

Jolene's Redemption

The land rushes were a chance for many folks to start over, and that’s what my heroine hopes to do.

Sarah’s Surrender, the final book in the series, releases next year, and it features the Oklahoma land lottery, which proved to be a less chaotic and less dangerous way to claim the land.

I’d love for you to follow my book news by signing up to receive my newsletter: http://www.vickiemcdonough.com/www.vickiemcdonough.com/Newsletter_Sign-up.html

You can find me online here:


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VickieMcDonough

Twitter: http://twitter.com/vickiemcdonough

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/VickieMcDonough/

Heroes, Heroines, and History blog: http://HHHistory.com


P&P Vickie McDonough 3 smallFacing down murderous outlaws. Starting schools. Saving the lives of strangers. Rose Maria Segale’s life would one day become the stuff that legends are made of, but she started out with humble beginnings. She was born in the tiny Italian village of Cicagna on January 23, 1850, but her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, when she was four years old. She wanted to become a nun, even at a young age, and she told her father that as soon as she was old enough she wanted to join the Sisters of Charity. When she was sixteen, she entered the novitiate, becoming Sister Blandina.


For a short time in 1872, she taught in Steubenville and Dayton, Ohio, but much to her delight, she received word that she was to go to Trinidad to work as a missionary. Her hopes of traveling to a foreign country were soon dashed when Sister Blandina boarded the train and realized that the Trinidad to which she was going was not a tropical island, but the westerner frontier ofColorado.


In Trinidad, she taught she discovered a town frequented by outlaws. Lynching was a common practice, and law was often determined by the mob not the sheriff. One day, two men shot it out, ending with one man fatally wounded and the other in jail. Friends of the dying man were waiting for him to pass and then they planned to storm the jail and lynch the shooter. The son of the shooter, one of Sister Blandina’s students, rushed to her and begged for her help. Appalled, she hurried to the dying man’s bedside and pleaded with him to forgive the man and allow the law to determine his punishment, rather than the frenzied mob bent on revenge. He did, and the shooter faced a judge, not a lynch mob. This fascinating story was later re-enacted on the CBS series Death Valley Days. The episode was called “The Fastest Nun in the West.”

P&P Sister Blandina Segale

Sister Blandina Segale was later transferred to Santa Fe, where she co-founded public and Catholic schools. During her time in New Mexico, she worked with the poor, the sick, and immigrants. She was also an advocate on behalf of Native Americans and Hispanics who were losing their land to swindlers.

Though Sister Blandina helped many, it was her encounter with Billy the Kid that made her famous. The sister learned of a wounded outlaw the town’s doctors refused to treat, and she found the man and nursed him back to health. When Billy the Kid came to Trinidad to scalp the doctors for not treating his cohort, he met Sister Blandina and thanked her and offered to do anything she asked as a reward for her kindess. What she asked for was that he spare the four doctors. Billy wasn’t happy, but he kept his word, and Sister Blandina saved four men that day.

In a later encounter with the outlaw, the sister told how she was inside a covered wagon when Billy tried to rob its passengers. Seeing her there, the outlaw supposedly tipped his hat to her and left empty-handed.In letters to her sister, she described Billy the Kid as having “a rosy complexion and the air of a little boy. … He could choose the right path, and instead he chose the wrong.” Many of the tales she wrote in letters to her sister later became a book, At the End of the Santa Fe Trail.

P&P Billy_the_KidSister Blandina Segale choose the right path for her life and ended up helping many people.


Bio: Bestselling author, Vickie McDonough, grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who’s scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen and others living in the West during the 1800s. Vickie is the award-winning author of over 30 published books and novellas. Visit Vickie’s website to learn more about her books or to sign up for her newsletter: www.vickiemcdonough.com


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VickieMcDonough


Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/VickieMcDonough/


Call of the PrairieHistory lovers: check out the daily historical posts at: http://christianfictionhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com


Vickie is giving away an autographed copy of Call of the Prairie, book 2 in her Pioneer Promises series.

Here’s what the book is about:


Sophie Davenport fears life is passing her by. Her strict, overprotective parents have kept her close to home because of the severe asthma attacks she sometimes endures. She longs to live a normal life and hopes to marry, but that dream seems impossible. When her aunt has a tragic accident and requests someone come to Kansas to help her, no one is available except Sophie. Her father, tied up with business, reluctantly agrees to let her go. Sophie is ecstatic and sees this trip as her one chance to prove to her parents—and herself—that she’s capable of living on her own. But things in the small town of Windmill are not as her aunt portrayed. And her aunt’s handsome neighbor, Josh Harper, guardian of two of the children her aunt cares for after school, obviously doubts her abilities. Will the Kansas dust, the drama, and difficulties prove too much for Sophie? Or will she lose her heart to her neighbor and succumb to the call of the prairie?


Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Call-Prairie-Pioneer-Promises-Series/dp/1603749624/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1404236019&sr=8-1