Saturday, July 30, 2011

Links to the Old West

by Jacquie Rogers

This has been a busy week for me. Last week was Menage-a-Blog and my blog had so many comments, I nearly typed my fingers to the nubbins! Thanks to all, and if you left a comment, I hope you received your free book coupon.  If not, please let me know. 

But there's always time to do a little research for the next story.  Some people think this is work, but I call it fun, and in fact I have to limit myself.  Same with visiting museums.  I love museums! 

Anyway, take a look at some of the sites I visited this week:

Hungry Cowboys
Head on over to the Cowboy Showcase if you want to learn how to cook on the trail.  Dutch Oven Cooking with Floyd Crandall tells you how to heat, use, and clean a dutch oven.

Oregon Trail
At the Pathways of Pioneers site, historian Don Shannon tells about the tragic experience of a wagon train at Castle Butte, Idaho Territory, and their forty days of hell until 16 of 44 immigrants were finally rescued at what now is called Starvation Camp.

There's Gold In Them Thar Hills
Think the gold rush is over?  Someone forgot to tell that to about 367 members of the Idaho Gold Prospectors Association.  If you want to prospect for gold and have a little fun besides, check 'em out.

Gnarly Mountain Men
The first lucrative enterprise of the American West was fur trapping and trading.  John Jacob Astor made a pile of money from this business.  Jim Bridger (left) and his friends wanted in on the action and formed the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. 

Dressed in buckskins, wearing coonskin caps, and packing scalpin' knives, these men explored and trapped in every area of the West.  Some of the later "explorers" used these men's maps and lore.  Learn all about the trade, the men, and the business from Legends of America, Fur Trading in the American West.

Next week, RTW will host the talented Cheryl Pierson, so be sure to stop by and set a spell!

Don't forget, one RTW Follower will win a $25 Amazon gift certificate on July 31!!! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Winner! Jacquie's Ménage-a-Blog Prize Package

We have a winner!

What's in this package?

$25 Amazon gift certificate
Jacquie Rogers coffee cup
Autographed copy of Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues
Faery Special Romances
baseball cap
and . . .
Autographed proof of <drum roll please>

(USA mailing only for the prize package)

And the winner is . . .

Drum roll please . . .

Katie Fortenbacher

Please send your snail mail address to

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anna Kathryn Lanier: Frontier Medicine

by Anna Kathryn Lanier
Copyright © 2010-2011 Anna Kathryn Lanier

Hi, Jacquie! Thanks for having me today. A condensed version of this post appeared on Seduced by History blog in April, 2010. However, I added to it for this post, especially the parts from Mrs. Child's book The Family Nurse, a book I recommend for anyone writing in the 1800s who wants to understand the medical mentality of the time.

Frontier Medicine

In my novella Salvation Bride, the heroine, Laura Ashton Slade is a trained physician. At the time, the late 19th century, several medical schools did allow females to study medicine. Laura, however, learned the old-fashion way. She apprenticed under her Uncle John, a university trained doctor. In my work in progress, a wagon train story, the heroine is a healer/midwife trained by her mother.

It is highly likely that a trained doctor and a home-taught healer would have had the same drugs, herbs and cures in their medical bag. In fact, the same medicines would probably have been found in a home medicine chest of a frontier mother, where healers where far and few between and doctors even more so.

The doctor's, healer's and mother's medicine chests would have contained such items as those listed in Bleed, Blister, and Purge by Volney Steele, M.D. and recommended by Mrs. Child in her book The Family Nurse first published in 1837. Dr. Steele lists such remedies as "feverfew, fleabane, boneset, rhubarb, Oak of Jerusalem, thyme [and] marjoram," (page 138). A few store-bought items would also be included: Opium tincture or laudanum and whiskey for pain and surgeon's plaster to bind broken limbs.

Mrs. Child suggests that "every family ought to keep a chest of common medicines, such as ipecac, castor oil, magnesia, paregoric, &c.; and especially such remedies as are useful in croup." (p 80). Her other suggested medicines include: carbonate of magnesia for ‘an acid state of the stomach,' senna as a diuretic, aloes which is ‘a warm, stimulating purgative,' sulphate of iron is 'an approved emmenagogue,' wormwood ‘has a great reputation as a tonic bitter for debilitated stomachs,' ginger is 'good for dyspepsia and flatulence."

A doctor, as well as a home-trained healer, would know how to make poultices to relieve pain, help heal burns and possibly how to prevent or abort a pregnancy. She'd know how make plaster of mustard to "ease the ache of bruises, arthritis, and pleurisy." She might even apply sugar to wounds, once commonly known to dry out a fresh wound and inhibit the growth of bacteria. (p 143, Bleed, Blister and Purge).

No matter how well trained or even how they were trained, the physicians and healers of the time had little understanding of common diseases that we have today. Cholera was the most common and the deadliest disease to sweep through a wagon train or western settlement. It wasn't understood at the time that cholera was caused by contaminated drinking water. The best way to fight the disease is to replace fluids "volume to volume" as the patient suffered from severe diarrhea. However, this treatment was not well known.

Mrs. Child's book shows how little understood the disease was at the time. She suggests "Gentle purgatives are generally employed in preference of emetics." In other words, make them purge the bowels instead of vomiting, when, in fact, neither should have been done. Opium, if available, was also given to the cholera patient to "relieve the pain and slow down the increased bowel action and cramps," (p 80, Bleed, Blister and Purge).

Diphtheria, measles, small pox and scarlet fever were all deadly diseases, especially among children, found on the frontier. Diphtheria, in particular, was the most dreaded. Highly contagious, a single case could start an epidemic, resulting in a high number of children dying when a "pseudo-membrane in the throat and pharynx...obstructed the windpipe and shut off air to the lungs." If the child survived this, she might still die from heart failure, caused when a potent toxin was secreted that effected the heart, (p 264, Bleed, Blister and Purge).

One often overlooked disease on the westward trails was scurvy, which was almost as deadly to the immigrants as cholera. With a common diet of corn meal, flour, beans and boiled or salted beef and few fresh vegetables and fruit, scurvy ran rampant in the West. Scurvy affects the overall health of the patient, causing extreme fatigue, nausea, pain in the muscles and joints of the body, bleeding of the gums (oftentimes resulting in the loss of teeth) and hair and skin become dry. The simple cure for scurvy is the intake of Vitamin C, but the correlation between diet and scurvy was not discovered until the late 1800s. Ironically, a common native plant along the trail, watercress, was full of Vitamin C and would have been a simple cure to this disease. Many immigrants thought of watercress as a weed and didn't eat it, though it was often in abundance along the trail.

To understand the magnitude of sickness and death on the journey, one only needs to look at the diaries written by those brave souls who made the journey. In Covered Wagon Women, 1840-1849 by Kenneth Holmes, two women note such occurrences. Anna King, on page 42, relates, "I wrote to you at Fort Larim that the whooping cough and measles went through our camp, and after we took the new route a slow, lingering fever prevailed….Eight of our two families have gone to their long home. Upwards to fifty died on the new route."

Sallie Hester reports "We had two deaths in our train within the past week of cholera – young men going West to seek their fortune. We buried them on the banks of the Blue River, far from home and friends," (page 237).

By today's standards, medicine in the 19th Century was crude in the best of hospitals. On the frontier, it was downright rudimentary. As much as I'd love to give my heroines insight to the knowledge we have now, I shall have to resist and let them heal their patience with the remedies tired and true at the times.

Visit my website and blog for other frontier information.

I'll give away a copy of Salvation Bride, a best-selling ebook from The Wild Rose Press, to one lucky commenter. Another lucky person will win free registration for my August workshop:

Pioneering Women of the West.
August 1-31, 2011

The West was discovered by men looking for adventure and fortune. But it was civilized by women who brought families, schools, churches, and stability to the area.

In Pioneering Women of the West, you'll learn about the western movement, the treacherous journey hundreds of thousands people took and of the lives of specific women who helped shape the West, intentionally or not. Some women went looking for a better life; others followed their man into the wilderness.

There will be three lectures a week, with time for questions and answers and additional research on the participants' part.

Drawing for both prizes will be held at 10pm Central Time on Saturday, July 30. 

One Romancing The West Follower will receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  Drawing for that is July 31 at 10pm Pacific Time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anna Kathryn Lanier: Salvation Bride

This week Romancing The West features Anna Kathryn Lanier, author of Salvation Bride, a story featuring a heroine who is a doctor in post-Civil War Texas.

Title: Salvation Bride
Buy Links: Amazon * B&N Nook * Fictionwise
The Wild Rose Press

About Salvation Bride

The hot dusty town of Salvation, Texas has more than its share of secrets in 1873 when Laura Ashton's stage rolls into town. Sheriff David Slade has no idea what baggage his mail-order bride is bringing into his life. Throw in the nightmares from his Civil War days and he's got more than courting to contend with. Laura's a woman ahead of her time, a woman trained in medicine. And she's got a will that could move mountains. Unfortunately, the only mountains in Salvation are in Sheriff Slade's memory. Can the determined doctor heal his pain, or will the dark secret in her past turn up to steal his Salvation Bride?

See the end of this interview for details

RTW: Other than Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, there weren't many lady doctors in the frontier. Why did Laura want to be a doctor and where did she receive her training?

AKL: There were probably more female doctors in the West than in the East, for several reasons. One, the west was more open to change than the east. Second, when the only doctor in 200 miles is female, well, by golly, you just might allow her to remove that bullet. Laura became a doctor because her uncle, the person who rescued her from an orphanage, was a doctor. He trained her as his assistant and after his death, she moved to Texas, taking her training with her.

RTW: She's also a mail-order bride. I love mail-order bride stories and I know others do, too. What do you think is so intriguing about this scenario?

AKL: I think it’s the unknown that attracts people to the story. It’s a great adventure and no one, neither the groom, the bride nor the reader truly knows what they are going to find at the end of the day. In Salvation Bride, I set the story up so that the couple has to marry the day they meet. That forces them to find answers to their problems. She just can’t get up and leave town because it didn’t work out.

RTW: The Civil War was brutal and gives storytellers lots of fodder for angst. Without giving out any spoilers, can you talk about David's backstory?

AKL: As a good Southerner, David joins the Confederate Army. He was taken prisoner and spent part of the war in a POW camp. He has a lot of nightmares to overcome, from the camp and what happened at home while he was gone, and Laura might be the person to help heal him, if only he’d let her.

RTW: Research is an author's best friend but sometimes it can overtake the story. How do you balance researching with the actual writing?

AKL: Well, for one thing, if you wrote what actually happened, people wouldn’t believe you. For example, I was reading a diary of a woman who traveled west on a wagon train. The men were hunting while traveling during the day. A young boy’s gun failed to fire and he tossed it into the wagon. The wagon then hit a rut. A man several yards away fell to the ground. At first, they thought he’d shot himself, but his gun was cold. They finally realized that the gun in the wagon had gone off when it hit the rut. I really want to use that in a story sometime….but will anyone believe it?

It is hard to get carried away with research, but you just have to know how much to put into the story and what you just need to know in your head to write the scene.

RTW: Please introduce the events leading up to your excerpt.

AKL: Laura has arrived in Salvation, Texas thinking she’ll have a few months to get to know her husband-to-be before they wed, but upon arrival, she learns they must marry that evening because the preacher changed his circuit route. David misunderstands her reaction to the news, thinking it’s because she’s afraid of bedding a stranger, so he promises her ‘no sex.’ What follows below is their wedding ceremony, just hours after they met in person.

Excerpt of Salvation Bride
A stir at the back of the room caught his attention. His bride stood in the doorway clutching a bouquet of wild flowers. His breath seized in his chest and his gut tightened. Had he really told her he wouldn’t bed her?

He thought her pretty before, but now, with her dark-gold hair pulled atop her head, ringlets framing her freshly-scrubbed face, and dressed in a gown of light blue, she was beautiful. And in a few minutes she’d legally be his.

David recited his vows, his bride standing tall beside him, her head coming to his shoulder. She spoke in a clear, strong voice, only faltering once at “to love, honor, and obey.” Did she feel the weight of the lie as much as he did? She glanced at him when she stumbled, her gray eyes shimmering with tears she blinked away.

“With this ring, I thee wed.” He slipped the gold band he’d purchased through the mercantile onto her slender finger. It was a half-size too big. She clenched her hand into a fist and stared at the ring, then glanced at him, a smile on her face.
“You may kiss your bride,” the preacher said.

David leaned down and brushed a light, dry kiss onto her lips. Desire shot to his groin at the butterfly touch. He stepped away from his wife before she suspected he would be hard pressed to keep his promise not to bed her.

The small crowd of guests rushed forward to greet the newlyweds. The ladies hugged them. The men pumped his hand, whispered lurid comments and winked before moving on to kiss his bride on the cheek and to wish her luck in taming him.

Laura gave a shaky smile as she thanked them. He took her hand in his and squeezed.

“It’ll be alright,” he whispered.

She nodded. “I suppose so, Sheriff. What choice do we have but to do our best to make the other happy?”

RTW: What else do you have for us? Please mention your other books.

AKL: I have one other historical out right now, a short story set in Victorian England, TEMPT ME TWICE. I also have three contemporary westerns out: The Priceless Gift, it’s a sequel to A Gift Beyond All Measure, and a sort of sequel to Salvation Bride, as the hero is the descendant of Laura and David, A Cowboy's Dream. More information on all these stories can be found at my website.

RTW: Anything else you'd like to mention?

In August, I’ll be presenting an online class Pioneering Women of the West at Hearts Through History’s campus.  (See details below, in the contest information.)

I have a blog, as well. On Mondays, I have a guest author, on Wednesdays I post a recipe, and on occasion, I post something about a historical event or person. I also give away monthly prizes. I hope you’ll stop by and say hi sometime. .

Thanks for having me, Jacquie!

And now for the contest information. :)

Anna Kathryn is giving away a copy of Salvation Bride, a best-selling ebook from The Wild Rose Press, to one lucky commenter. Another lucky person will win free registration for her August workshop:

Pioneering Women of the West.
August 1-31, 2011

The West was discovered by men looking for adventure and fortune. But it was civilized by women who brought families, schools, churches, and stability to the area.

In Pioneering Women of the West, you'll learn about the western movement, the treacherous journey hundreds of thousands people took and of the lives of specific women who helped shape the West, intentionally or not. Some women went looking for a better life; others followed their man into the wilderness.

There will be three lectures a week, with time for questions and answers and additional research on the participants' part.

Drawing for both prizes will be held at 10pm Central Time on Saturday, July 30. 

One Romancing The West Follower will receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  Drawing for that is July 31 at 10pm Pacific Time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cowboys and Kittens and Flirting, Oh MY!

Yes, it's the Final Flirt-Off in

All you lovely people commented on Romancing The West yesterday and your generousity put me in the final round!  Thanks so much!  Also thank you to Amber Scott who organized this whole blog tour. Mwah!

Oh, my. <giggle>  Who would have thought little ol' me would end up in a flirt-off with two fine authors such as the splendid Regan Black and the marvelous Lacey Weatherford?

And now I have my hat and my lasso (see left) and I'm ready to find any lost little strays who might be in sorely need of a fun, romantic story.

Oh, well, it isn't lady-like to actually bribe someone into commenting on my blog, so instead, I'll just sweeten the pot a bit. Um more about that later. :)

Let's talk sexy cowboys.  Yesterday, I asked you to post the sexiest cowboy, and today, I'll show you a few of them. 

King of Cowboys
John Wayne
Of course, lots of ladies love John Wayne.  Women the world over were jealous of Maureen O'Hara. <teehee>  He created an amazing larger-than-life character who exemplifed the Old West and all its chivalry.  Want to know more about that?  After you comment here, go to Your Need To Read and comment on my post, Cowboys: Knights of the Old West.
Yes, you get extra entries into the Prize Package for a YNTR comment!

Who can forget Rooster Cogburn?  I loved John Wayne in True Grit, so imagine my surprise when I liked Jeff Bridges just as well.  I didn't think that was possible!
Clint Eastwood
It seems like lots of ladies are loving another strong, silent type, and that would be The Man With No Name himself, Clint Eastwood.  Yeah baby, Rowdie Yates, the actor who was told he'd never make it because his adam's apple was too large, has passed 80 years of age and is still making ladies' hearts flutter.  He even has Paint Your Wagon fans!  I heard he absolutely hated singing in that movie and swore never to do it again.  And didn't.

Sam Elliot
The third most popular cowboy is Sam Elliot and the ladies picked him for his sexy voice as much as for his good looks.  Not that I would have noticed, you understand.  <Excuse me while I swoon.>  We in the Pacific Northwest call him one of our own because he graduated from high school in Portland, Oregon, and went to Clark College in Vancouver, and that's were he decided to become an actor.  Good choice.  I don't suppose you remember him in Conagher?  Or Tombstone?  <sigh>  Kathryn Ross is one lucky lady.

Tom Selleck
 Actually, Sam was running neck and neck with another actor who stole hearts from Alaska to Down Under, and of course that would be Tom Selleck.  I loved The Sackets (he played Orrin Sackett, Sam Elliot played his brother), Monte Walsh, Quigley Down Under . . . Tom Selleck was born to ride astride, er, I mean, play a cowboy.

No plastic body for this man: "So I like to get outside and work on the farm, from fixing roads to clearing brush. I hate going to the gym, so sweating outdoors sure beats sitting on a stationary bike staring at my navel. And I work cheaper than anyone I could hire to do it."

Many of you received a coupon for a copy of Much Ado About Marshals at Smashwords.  Want a sneak peak of the book?  Here's a short video:

Like that sexy cowboy?  His name is Kyle Walker and he's not actually a cowboy--he's a construction worker.  I think he fills out those cowboy duds pretty well, though.

What famous actor do you think would best play the part of Cole Richards?  Make a comment and you'll get:
  • A free copy of Much Ado About Marshals (if you don't already have one)
  • A Bonus Entry for the Prize Package and don't forget you get another Bonus Entry for all comments made on my post at Your Need To Read
  • A $10 Amazon gift Certificate (this post's entries only)
 For added discussion, what actress do you think could best portray Daisy?

We have all weekend so take your time and think about it.  After you make your comment, be sure to check out the Indie Book Collective where you can STILL get FREE BOOKS!  Yes, the other Menage-a-Blog authors are generously giving away books all week, so please go to their websites and show them some love.

The Menage-a-Blog Tour ends Midnight Eastern Time (9pm Pacific Time) on Sunday night, July 24, 2011.  Thanks so much for visiting!  Take a little sugar with you. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ménage a Blog: Flirting With Cowboys

Pardon me while I unfold my fan ...

Oh, really, have you seen the handsome men about?  <sigh>  Broad, brawny shoulders, chaps on muscular <fans self> thighs, and scuffed boots with spurs.  Lawsy!!!

Of course, as a true lady, you know I've never seen washboard abs, um, I mean a man's unclothed chest, but a girl can dream.   Oh, yes, a girl can dream.  Makes my heart go a'flutter!

We've been flirting all week with the fine ladies and gents wha are participating in Ménage a Blog.  The whole idea is to get as many comments as possible by flirting.  Yes, I said flirting. Merriam-Webster defines flirting as: to behave amorously without serious intent.  Oh, but sugar, I do seriously intend for one of my commenters to win a Kindle. (More on that later.)

But I think the best way to flirt is to give something away, don't you think?  Something you've never given away before.  Something you'd never dream of giving to someone who wasn't really special...

<giggle> More about that later, too.

You might have already visited the other two flirtatious belles who share my, er, ménage.

One is the Queen of Sizzle, Miss Eden Baylee.  Oh, sweetheart, I swan, you'd better have a tall glass of sweet tea with lots of ice in it before you read Miss Baylee's Fall Into Winter.  I'll have my smelling salts ready!  I'm telling you, that book is so hot you have to have asbestos mittens to hold it, and you'd best be perched on a block of ice when you read it.

For the ladies . . .
And the other flirtatious belle is the Queen of Wild Rides, Miss Theresa Ragan.  Oh my  stars!!! Have you read Finding Kate Huntley?  Because if you're not out of breath, you haven't.  The gents will all be in love with Kate Huntley and we ladies are absolutely palpitating over Jack Coffey.  And when they're together, watch out!  Bullets fly, sparks fly, kittens fly . . . <giggle> I made that last part up.

Ahem.  About Much Ado About Marshals, some people have said some ever so nice things about it. 

Ann Charles, author of Optical Delusions in Deadwood wrote, "Full of laughs, sexy scenes, and exciting adventures, this book is like a fun romp through the Old West. . . Jacquie Rogers knows how to entertain!"

Another blurb: "Cole had me by the heart as soon as he described Daisy's eyes. I won't give it away here, but, wow. Totally sigh worthy." That's from Amber Scott, who's on the Menage-a-Blog tour so go to her site and comment to win a copy of Fierce Dawn.  (You'll be glad you did!)

From Judith Laik, author of The Lady Is Mine, "A spunky would-be lady detective and an accidental bank robber keep the mayhem and the laughter coming in this sparkling Western romance."

FIVE STARS! Special thanks to my sponsor for this week's Menage-a-Blog, Detra Fitch, lead reviewer of Huntress Reviews
She said: "Author Jacquie Rogers penned a fabulous historical romance and then inserted her own brand of wackiness. As a result, this story quickly grabbed me by the throat, kept me reading long past my bed time, and earned a place of honor upon my Keeper Shelf. Unforgettable! I cannot recommend this title highly enough."

I am also beholden to some other wonderful reviewers:

From Augusto Pinaud: "This is a fun story... Should read!"

From Taylor Lee Writes: "Nancy Drew meets William Shakespeare."
Also thanks to My Eclectic Bookshelf and the uber-talented Caroline Clemmons. (She writes the most delicious western historical romances!)

Oh, so you want prizes???

Yes, we have some of those.  Each commenter who leaves an email address will receive a coupon for a free copy of Much Ado About Marshals at Smashwords.  Yes, free!

AND you'll be entered to win the Menage-a-Blog Kindle.  Yes!!!

AND you'll be entered to win my fabulous prize package.

But just to sweeten the deal, I'll throw in a little more sugar.  Check out Your Need to Read and leave a comment and yet get another chance to the PRIZE PACKAGE!

What's in this package?

$25 Amazon gift certificate
Jacquie Rogers coffee cup
Autographed copy of Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues
Faery Special Romances
baseball cap
and . . .
Autographed proof of <drum roll please>

(USA mailing only for the prize package)

So go ahead, leave a comment with your email address, and tell me:
Who is the sexiest cowboy ever???

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jacquie Rogers: Bounty Hunters of the Old West

Bounty Hunters of the Old West
by Jacquie Rogers
Copyright © 2010-2011 Jacquie Rogers

The law was a bit sparse in the Old West, often not a lawman around for hundreds of miles. If a criminal knew how to live off the land and he owned a fast horse, he was pretty well guaranteed an escape. What’s a sheriff to do?

In 1872, the Supreme Court ruled that bounty hunters were a part of the U.S. law enforcement system with a decision in Taylor vs. Taintor:
“When the bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their domain is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up to his discharge; and if it cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent. They may pursue him into another state; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of due process. None is needed. It is likened to the arrest by the Sheriff of an escaped prisoner.”

Charlie Siringo
 As you can see by this decision, bounty hunters didn’t have to adhere to the same rules of due process that lawmen did. (This is still true in some states.)

One of the greatest bounty hunters was Pinkerton Detective, Charlie Siringo. Siringo had a long and distinguished, if not controversial, career. He had steely nerves and his cleverness got him out of more than one jam. But he wrote a book, and the Pinkerton Agency wasn’t too keen about that, so he spent several years at the end of his life arguing with them. Could be that the Pinkertons were the only ones to ever best him.

Lots of town marshals and county sheriffs supplemented their meager incomes with bounties. Of course, they had to follow the rules of due process while a bounty hunter had no such restrictions. Then again, if there’s no one around for a couple hundred miles, who’s to know? This is part of how the West was tamed. Many lawmen straddled the fence between law-enforcing and law-breaking.

Charlene Sands, author of Bodine’s Bounty, blogged about bounty hunters on Pistols and Petticoats. Really good info at this site on lots of Old West topics. Anyway, she points out that in order for a bounty hunter to get his money in British Columbia, he had to bring the criminal in alive. The US had no such compunctions, but the bounty was half if the prisoner died before making it to jail. She also mentions that the bounty hunters didn’t receive payment until later, so when they brought in prisoners, they’d either have to wait, or have the money sent to a bank. (They’d probably wait, considering the state of banking at the time.) But the most important thing that Ms. Sands mentioned was that bounty hunters’ names were never, ever recorded, because their anonymity was their protection. This little item is what makes research difficult.

Steve McQueen
as Josh Randall
Much to movie and TV viewers’ delight, popular lore glorifies the Old West bounty hunter. The role of Josh Randall in Wanted: Dead or Alive in the 1950s made Steve McQueen a star. “Josh Randall (Steve McQueen) was a man of few words. A bounty hunter by trade, he tracked his prey all over the West. Randall carried an 1892 44/40 center fire Winchester carbine that he called “Mare’s Laig.” It handled like a revolver but had the punch of a rifle. Unlike other bounty hunters, Randall had scruples. He tried to bring the prisoner in alive and often found himself called upon to protect people in need.”

Richard Boone
as Paladin

Then there’s my personal favorite, Paladin, played by Richard Boone on “Have Gun-Will Travel.” (Okay, so he was more gunslinger than bounty hunter, but they go together well.)  A few years ago, there were rumors of a remake starring Eminem as Paladin, but I don't think anything has come of it.  I can't imagine anyone playing Paladin better than Boone, though.  Who else has the dark, rugged good looks?

And who can forget "The Man With No Name" played by Clint Eastwood in the Dollars Trilogy?  Talk about the strong, silent type.  This character demonstrated the "action is louder than words" concept.  He had a unique but strong sense of justice and was an accomplished marksman.  We never learn a thing about him, yet he's still a compelling character.

I actually don't have a bounty hunter in Much Ado About Marshals, but many lawmen of the Old West blurred the line between justice and vice, or sometimes downright villainy.  Bounty hunting was a legal way, if not entirely honorable, to make a living for poorly-paid city marshals and county sheriffs. 

It was also a temptation, and therefore an area rich for storytelling.  Some bounty hunters were merely killers for hire, a few were careful to bring their prey in alive.  The boundaries between good and evil and wide and fuzzy. 

So don't forget bounty hunters in your next Western.  Could be fun!
Jacquie Rogers
Much Ado About Marshals Kindle * Smashwords

It's Ménage-a-Blog Week! Don't forget to stop by Romancing The West on Thursday, July 21st, and enter a comment on my blog. You'll get a Smashwords coupon for a free copy of Much Ado About Marshals, and a chance to win lots of prizes! Oh, yeah, it's a fun thing.

And if I out-flirt Theresa and Eden, I get to be in the Final Flirt Off, and you can win even MORE PRIZES!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Stirrings at RTW: Contests!!!

Monday Stirrings at Romancing The West
from Jacquie Rogers

Winner of Paty Jager's Spirit of the Lake is Anna Small! Thanks for stopping by Paty's RTW post, Anna. I hope you enjoy the book. :)

This is a busy week for me. Much Ado About Marshals goes to print.  Yay! Lots to do since Mélange Publishing is giving me some special treatment. (And I do a few things for Mélange, too, so it all works out.)

Also, it's Ménage-a-Blog Week.  It's a flirt to the finish!

Here's the schedule, starting with TODAY, so hie thee to these authors' sites for FREE books, a chance to win a Kindle, and enter to win each author's gift basket! (You'll find links to all the authors at the Blog Tour de Force website.  Please visit them!)

July 18th: Carolyn McCray, Deena Remiel, and Amber Scott
July 19th: Terri Giuliano Long, Rachel Thompson, Lacey Weatherford
July 20th: Regan Black, Judith Gaines, Jackie Chanel
July 21st: Theresa Ragan, Eden Baylee, Jacquie Rogers
July 22nd: The Final Flirt Off (winner of each day

Don't forget to stop by Romancing The West on Thursday, July 21st, and enter a comment on my blog. You'll get a Smashwords coupon for a free copy of Much Ado About Marshals, and a chance to win lots of prizes! Oh, yeah, it's a fun thing.

And if I out-flirt the awesome Theresa and the sizzling Eden, then I get to be in the Final Flirt Off, and you can win even MORE PRIZES!!! So please, please, please, leave a comment on my blog July 21st. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Links To The Old West

by Jacquie Rogers

Every once in a while I'll be listing some links to blogs and other sites that tickle my fancy. You might want to take a look, too.

The first one is from Waring's Western Blog and the post is Hey--Where's My Horse? This post really cracked me up because it's about the perils of ground tying. Anyone who has had a horse has one or two ground tie stories.

The second link isn't an article--it's a website for Women Writing the West. Wow, there's lots of interesting information, plus you can find some good books there, too.
For something a little different, try the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Some friends and I rode on this train a few years ago and it was a fun experience.  We took the bus from Durango to Silverton, then rode the train back down the hill.  The train attendants were well informed and anxious to share.  I gathered quite a bit of information that will be useful when I get back to writing a western I have started called Sleight of Heart.

And speaking of Colorado, you might as well visit The Old West Colorado Blog. I enjoyed the article on Colorado Trading Posts.  Take a tour of the site, but you'd better bookmark it or you'll miss dinner.

Remember that any comments posted on Paty Jager's interview/excerpt or her post on stagecoach travel this week will enter you into a drawing for a free copy of Spririt of the Lake

Check back tomorrow evening to find out who won!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Paty Jager: Stagecoach Rides

by Paty Jager
Copyright © 2011 Paty Jager

As a writer of historic romance I like to make sure I know all I can about modes of transportation during the era I write about. I've yet to use a stage coach in a published book but my character had a brief trek in one in a story that is making the editor rounds.

So here is a bit of info I gleaned from researching stage coaches.

The first Concord coach was built in 1827 and cost $1200-$1500.  It weighed 2,000 pounds and had leather strap braces rather than springs to give a swinging motion rather than a jolting ride.  They had leather boots in the front and back for holding baggage, mail and valuables. Extra luggage was also stored on top.

A single coach could hold nine passengers inside and up to a dozen on top.  The coach had leather roll down curtains and three leather upholstered seats with little leg room.  The front row who faced backwards had to dovetail their knees/legs with the passengers in the middle row facing them.  They figured fifteen inches per person to a seat when it carried the nine passenger capacity.  The persons in the middle had no back support other than a wide leather strap for support or a leather strap that dangled from the ceiling, which they could grab when the road was treacherous.  The average speed was five to eight miles an hour.

There were different rates for the same trip.  If you paid the highest price you were 1st class which meant you rode all the way, 2nd class you paid less and had to walk in the bad places, 3rd class you paid the least but you walked in the bad places and had to push at the hills.

The rides were either sweltering or freezing.  The weather wasn’t any easier to keep out of the coach than the dust and mud.  Women who were seasoned travelers knew to wear long duck cloth dusters to keep their clothing clean.  Few hotels sat along the routes and travelers sometimes had a choice of sleeping in corrals or in the street.  The way stations along the routes were often crude structures made of either lumber or adobe.  The Stops were famous for bad food. The usual menu consisted of jerky or salt pork, stale bread, bad coffee, and always beans.

Besides the close quarters, dusty trails, and rustic stage stops there was also the threat of Indian attacks and robberies from outlaws.

Raphael Pumpelly, who rode on the Butterfield Overland Mail stage west to Tucson, noted:
"The coach was fitted with three seats, and these were occupied by nine passengers. As the occupants of the front and middle seats faced each other, it was necessary for these six people to interlock their knees; and there being room inside for only ten of the twelve legs, each side of the coach was graced by a foot, now dangling near the wheel, now trying in vain to find a place of support. An unusually heavy mail in the boot, by weighing down the rear, kept those of us who were on the front seat constantly bent forward. The fatigue of uninterrupted traveling by day and night in a crowded coach, and in the most uncomfortable positions, was beginning to tell seriously upon all the passengers, and was producing in me a condition bordering on insanity…"
William Reed described the experience of motion sickness in a coach.
"The heat could be unbearable; the bodies of the passengers covered with sand, which permeated every inch of clothing. The rough roads gave to the coaches a motion not only from side to side, but a roll from front to back. Seasickness in the hot desert air, some said was far worse than the same ailment out on the cool Pacific waters. A seat in the front, in back, and a bench in the middle called for precise seating… Dust, sweat, insects, and a variety of irritating conditions made for an interesting, if not particularly pleasant trip across the arid desert."
Overland stages traveled continuously though the day and night. Trying to sleep in one, confined with eight other people, I think I'd go mad.  I don't do well on little sleep. LOL

If passengers, who had tickets to a town farther along the route, chose to stay in a town or at a home station to seek relief from their journey, they could become stranded for a week or more before resuming their travels. A ticket did not guarantee passengers the right to travel on the next stage, when the seat was occupied by another.

There were two types of stations, home and swing. The home station allowed passengers time for a hasty meal. The swing station was a ten minute stop to change the team of horses.

They also had a code of etiquette for traveling on the stage in the 1870's.
  • When a driver asked a passenger to get out and walk, one was advised to do so, and not grumble about it.
  • If the team of horses ran away, it was better to sit in the coach because most passengers who jumped were seriously injured.
  • Smoking and spitting on the leeward side of the coach was discouraged.
  • Drinking spirits was allowed, but passengers were expected to share.
  • Swearing was not allowed, and neither was sleeping on your neighbor's shoulder.
  • Travelers shouldn't point out spots where murders had occurred, especially when "delicate" passengers were aboard.
  • Greasing one's hair was discouraged because dust would stick to it.

Spirit of the Lake by Paty Jager
Buy links: Amazon, Wild Rose Press

Two generations after his brother became mortal, Wewukiye, the lake spirit, prevents a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and becomes caught up in her sorrow and her heart. Her tribe ignores Dove's shameful accusations—a White man took her body, leaving her pregnant, and he plans to take their land.Wewukiye vows to care for her until she gives birth, to help her prove the White man is deceitful and restore her place in her tribe.

As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?

Read Paty's bio.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Paty Jager: Spirit of the Lake

This Week's Author: Paty Jager

Featured Title: Spirit of the Lake by Paty Jager
Buy links: Amazon, Wild Rose Press

Read Paty's bio here.

RTW: In 100 words or fewer, tell us about your book.

Two generations after his brother became mortal, Wewukiye, the lake spirit, prevents a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and becomes caught up in her sorrow and her heart. Her tribe ignores Dove's shameful accusations—a White man took her body, leaving her pregnant, and he plans to take their land.Wewukiye vows to care for her until she gives birth, to help her prove the White man is deceitful and restore her place in her tribe.

As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?

Contest Announcement!
One person who answers the question at the end of this blog will receive their choice of a pdf of either Spirit of the Mountain or Spirit of the Lake.

RTW: You write about the Nez Perce in Sprit of the Lake. What interested you in the culture and customs? Did growing up in Oregon influence your fascination with cultures and love?

PJ: I grew up in Wallowa County, Oregon, the area where the Lake Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) summered. Even though I never saw them in the county I felt their presence and felt empathy for what they went through. Nez Perce stories like the one about the antlered monster who lived in Wallowa Lake, ignited my imagination. I made Wewukiye an antlered spirit who lived in the lake.

RTW: If Scotty beamed you to Wewukiye’s lake, what survival skills would be the most valuable to you?

PJ: I guess fishing so I could eat and knowing when the icy water could give me hypothermia.

RTW: Misinformation about native cultures abound. Are there any common to western historical romances that annoy you?

PJ: Sometimes the dialogue doesn't ring true. I tried to keep my dialogue in the tone and cadence that I read in the legends and in books that had accounts told by a Nez Perce. As for misinformation…I can't think of anything off the top of my head at the moment.

RTW: Why is Wewukiye perfect for Dove?

Wewukiye is perfect for Dove because he believes in her and her truths. He also has the patience and compassion to help her through the ordeal of having been violated and carrying a child from that attack.

RTW: Introduce your excerpt, please.

Wewukiye has talked Dove into keeping the child within her alive. It's her proof the Whiteman the elders favor is not what they think. Since he's a spirit he can't show himself to the band of Nez Perce where she's living. Every day she meets him in a meadow where he chants and helps her keep the food she eats in her stomach to make her strong. This except is when he walks her back to the village.

Excerpt of Spirit of the Lake by Paty Jager:

Wewukiye tugged her hand, drawing her closer. His warm breath puffed against her ear.

"You need only think of me and you will have strength."

His soft silky voice floated through her body like a hot drink.

Dove swallowed the lump in her throat and asked, "When will I see you again?" The thought of sleeping on the hard ground next to the fire in Crazy One's dwelling didn't sound near as inviting as using his lap to rest her head.

The days and nights grew colder; to be wrapped in his arms would warm her through and through.

"You will find me at the meadow every day when the sun is directly overhead." He brushed his lips against her ear.

She closed her eyes, relishing the silky feel of his lips and the heat of his touch.

"Think of me," whispered through her head.

Dove opened her eyes. She stood alone. Her palm still warm from their clasped hands, her ear ringing with his whisper.

RTW: Thanks for the sneak peek!  What other books do you have for us?

PJ: There is Spirit of the Mountain, the first book in this trilogy.

I have four books in the Halsey Brother series about five brothers who find their mates in feisty women of unusual occupations--Marshal in Petticoats, Outlaw in Petticoats, Miner in Petticoats, and Doctor in Petticoats. I 'm writing the fifth one now- Logger in Petticoats.

And I have two contemporary Westerns available--Perfectly Good Nanny, which won an award, and Bridled Heart.

RTW: Wow, you're a busy lady!  Anything else you’d like to add?

PJ: You can read the first chapter of each book at my website and find links to purchase them. And every Monday on my blog I'm posting an excerpt to a Christmas book that will be out in November.

Contest Details!

To win a pdf copy of either Spirit of the Mountain or Spirit of the Lake you have to go to my blog and find out the name of the Christmas book and post it in the comment section here at RTW. I'll draw a name from the people who put the right answer.

Thank you, Paty, for visiting us at Romancing The West this week!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

L.J. Martin's Grilled Romaine Salad

RTW: It just so happens that L.J. Martin is a superb cook, and he has consented to share a recipe from his new book, Cooking Wild & Wonderful

Here's the intoduction, and at the end, a yummy recipe for grilled romaine salad that you'll want to try. :)

Cooking Wild & Wonderful
by L.J. Martin
Copyright © 2011 L.J. Martin

“Cinch him up, spur hard, and let him buck…”

Outside my kitchen window a pair of wild Merriam turkeys with a clutch of chicks investigate my flower beds to see what my bird feeders have spilled.

They're my clean-up crew.

On the distant hillside a whitetail doe cautiously leads a spindly legged spotted fawn down to our north pasture. As I stroll along the long gravel driveway an osprey, the fish eagle, wings overhead on his way to beat the fly-fishermen to a breakfast of rainbow, brown, or native cutthroat trout from Wolfpack Ranch’s gurgling neighbor, one of the world's most pristine fly fishing streams. While I'm at the mailbox, after my leisurely morning stroll, a pickup passes pulling a float boat and carrying a local fishing guide and a couple of eager clients, and I wave and get a smile and wave in return--It's the country way, even if you don’t know the passersby, and I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Slipping the paper out of its yellow plastic container next to our oversized mailbox, I see our local paper--the Missoulian from over twenty five miles distant--sporting headlines Glacier Park Highway Open. Good news graces the front page.  The horrors of the rest of the country and world are relegated to the second page or deeper in the paper’s bowel, where they well belong.

Ours is a good news type of place.

And we love it here.

At Wolfpack Ranch, in the shadow of Montana's beautiful Sapphire Mountains, we're all about good news, good times, good folks, and, of course, great food and country cooking.  What country depends upon what's in the pantry on a particular day. 

Although we love it here more than anywhere we've been we feel blessed to continue to travel and gain wonderful new friends, to collect great memories, and to gather hundreds of wonderful recipes.  We always try to take smiles, open minds, and open hearts, and as a result traveling has been a joy.

And every country we’ve visited offers exciting, enticing, exhilarating flavors and foods.

Most of the cooking at Wolfpack is up to me and I've been told I'm a fair hand at the art of the spatula, and the chore is fine by me as I love nothing more than bringing loving friends and family around the table to enjoy a great meal, a decent wine, and most of all, each other.  In fact if you love a thing, it’s not a chore at all.  And yeah, yeah, I can cook wild game or fresh caught trout over an open fire and am adept with cast iron including a venison stew or done-to-a-turn perfect cobbler in a Dutch oven, but that’s a small part of cooking with the Montana mystique.

Most of what our Wolfpack Ranch kitchen is about is simple food, but with flair, more often than not with an original twist.  We shop in a country market, and exotic ingredients are not available unless we go to town or order over the internet.  So don’t expect me calling for caviar or callaloo or even cassava unless I suggest a readily available substitute.

Cooking chores usually land with me because I'm lucky to be married to a beautiful, loving lady, Kat Martin, who just happens to also be productive and talented, an internationally known writer of women's romantic suspense and historical romance.  She has only one fault and that's working too hard, so the kitchen is usually my domain--not that Kat's not a great cook in her own right.  If I don't have background music of Willie Nelson lamenting some western woes in four-four time, I cook to the cadence of a word processor being pounded, sounds echoing from down our long hall to the office wing of the ranch house.  In our house everything radiates off the kitchen.

I, too, am a writer and novelist, but when folks ask “Does your wife write also?” I always answer, “No, she writes.  I write also.”  She’s a driven lady, and her international success is a result.

Cooking is now an avocation of mine, but has been a vocation. I cooked my way through college as the only fry cook, working three 30” x 6’ grills—eighteen feet demanding my intense concentration--serving 1,600 for lunch every day; and later I camp cooked, off-loading a mule string miles from the nearest road to do so; and even later owned my own beef restaurant.  My ‘office’ at college was a bank of three six-foot-long grills half-dozen feet in front of a bank of twenty deep-fryers.  Not exactly gourmet cooking, but generally nutritious and hopefully delicious.  However, it was God-help the student who stuck his head around the corner and said, “My pork chop was too done.”  After all, I was armed with a spatula with an eighteen inch blade.

I’ve mellowed over the years, and my cooking has more than likely improved.  If you can cook in a rough camp twenty miles from the nearest road, the rest of it is easy.  Now I’m spoiled by a beautiful modern kitchen and, even when camp cooking, spoiled by fancy outdoor equipment that makes life a lot easier than when the tools were only a wire grill or a piece of sheet iron badly balanced on a ring of rocks.

Like most chores it's a lot more fun doing it just for the fun of it, and I now do--not that I don't occasionally feed dozens if not hundreds.

One of the most enjoyable results of a reputation for some cooking expertise is our ability to donate the occasional five or six course dinner to the many worthy causes that have been born in Montana, and as a result to help raise some needed financing. 

Lately we've donated in support of the International Wildlife Film Festival and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  Worthy causes both, as the Film Festival supports film makers who bring critical wildlife and environmental issues before the public, and the Elk Foundation not only propagates America’s most magnificent antlered creature, the elk, throughout the U.S., but acquires critical habitat and migration routes protecting literally millions of acres not only for the elk but for all wildlife, and for man.
To tell the truth these donations of ours are not totally altruistic as a wonderful side benefit is making new friends who join us at a bountiful table--most of whom share similar interests and sympathies.

Our most recent dinner/donation auctioned for $1,000.00 for six to join Kat and me at Wolfpack Ranch for a six-course gourmet feed.  When someone lays out ten crisp Franklins for a meal, over one hundred sixty bucks a plate, they expect and deserve to be well fed...not only well, but memorably.

How does one offer up a meal worth that kind of money?

And here's just one menu [item] to accomplish that:

Grilled Romaine Salad (serves 4)

2 small heads romaine lettuce
1/2  cup blue cheese crumbles
4 slices extra thick bacon
1/2 cup quality balsamic vinegar
1 tblsp quality olive oil
garlic salt & pepper

Slice the heads of romaine in half the long way.  Trim of 1/8" the brown bottom and the ragged tops.  Wash well.  Brush the cut sides with olive oil.  Fry the bacon crisp, let cool, and chop into 1/2" squares.  Place the romaine, cut side down, on a hot grill or the BBQ just until it begins to barely brown.  With cut sides up on their individual serving plates, dribble balsamic over each serving, top with blue cheese crumbles, then bacon. Serve as a salad, or substitute chopped chicken or cubes of left over steak, or whatever you love and serve as your supper entre.

RTW: Thanks so much, L.J.!  I hope our readers give your recipe a try.  And please stop by anytime!

Don't forget that Romancing The West followers are eligible to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate at the end of the month, so after you leave a comment for L.J., don't forget to click Follow on the upper right side of this page.  Thank you!