Monday, July 30, 2012

After the Western Round-up at Romancing The West

We Have Winners!

Thanks to MK McClintock for rustling up the Western Round-up Giveaway Hop!

I gave away three sets of the Hearts of Owyhee series -- yes, all three books in the series -- to three lucky winners! 

This was a fun blog hop and many thanks to all the readers who took the time to read our blogs and leave comments.  Of course, with all those men in chaps, I'm not sure how much of a sacrifice it was. LOL!

And the winners of the Hearts of Owyhee series are ...



Danielle B

Hearts of Owyhee
#1 Much Ado About Marshals 
#2 Much Ado About Madams
#3 Much Ado About Mavericks
Visit with Jacquie Rogers: Website * Twitter * Facebook * Romancing The West * Blog

Jacquie Rogers: Western Women Wranglers

Western Women Wranglers
by Jacquie Rogers
Copyright © 2011-2012 Jacquie Rogers

So many people and events shape our lives. Sometimes it’s hard to put my finger on why some things interest me and some things just don’t. The Old West doesn’t just interest me, though—it fascinates me. I’m a bit obsessed, actually.
To harken back (ahem, mumble-mumble) years to my childhood…
Owyhee County, Idaho, was (still is) a wonderful place for a kid to grow up. My parents owned a farm—we milked around 150 head of Holsteins besides growing wheat, barley, sugar beets, silage corn, and alfalfa. I had a magic magnifying mind right from the get-go. Why couldn’t we live on a ranch? Why couldn’t we have spring round-ups?
Ah, I wanted a horse in the worst way. Finally, the Christmas when I was six, my dad bought me a Shetland pony. Before that, I thought he loved me, but giving me a horse possessed of the very devil, well, I had my doubts. The pony’s name was Smokey. He was what they call a proud gelding, where the castration gets rid of all the baby-makin’s but not the hormone factory.
You make the best of things, though, and Smokey grudgingly trudged all over every inch of Graveyard Point, a hill about a 1.5 miles from our place. My riding partner was my step-aunt (only two years older than me), and what a sight we made when she rode her thoroughbred named I-Pass with Smokey trotting along behind, me pulling leather. You see, Smokey was so fat that the saddle, no matter how tightly cinched, rolled from side to side about 30º each way. It was all I could do to stay upright.
Smokey and I did have a few adventures—here’s one. The dairy herd’s pasture was a half-mile long, and of course those danged cows had to wander clear to the other end right about milking time. It was my job to fetch them. I was probably about eight years old, when one day, I got this Bright Idea to drive them in on my trusty steed. Yes, my own personal cattle drive. It would be just like riding on the range like my cousins. So I saddled up Smokey and away we went.
Two things: 1) the pasture was fenced with barbed wire (pronounced “bob war”) and it was electric; and 2) the pasture was being irrigated that day.
Those Holsteins simply weren’t impressed with Smokey and me. I yipped and hollered. I waved my rope. I rode Smokey right up to the cattle, head to head. Not really, because those cows stood about a foot taller than my pony. Speaking of heads, not a one of those danged cows even raised her head. They just kept chomping along, ignoring us.
Back at the barn, Dad, helpful man that he was, saw that my horse and I were having some difficulty, so he cupped his hands around his mouth and bellowed, “s’boss!” Then those evil cows did finally stop grazing. Dinner time! And they took off for the barn. This was good, except...
By then, I’d given up and was riding back to the barn. When you see 150 critters bigger than you and the horse, it strikes fear in an eight-year-old’s heart, so I kicked old Smokey into a trot (easier said than done). For some reason, those stupid cows started chasing my stupid horse. He picked up to a gallop (probably the first time ever) tossing me from side to side on his roly-poly hide. He took off for the fence, running along it as fast as his stubby legs would go.
Remember that barbed wire? Just as he got there, splashing water six feet in the air and soaking us both, the saddle slipped toward the fence side. I knew I was gonna die. He galloped along the fence about 1/16” away and I was about to be cut to ribbons and electrocuted to boot, so I had to fling my left leg over to the right and ride sidesaddle. Then the saddle slipped some more, racing by the sharp barbs about an inch from my nose.
I finally made it to the barn, the pony’s sides heaving, me in dire need of a stiff shot of Jack Daniels. Dad laughed so hard, his eyes were teary. Smokey and I failed Cowpunching 101.
So I didn't exactly cut it as a top cowhand. Some women truly did, though.
Everyone loves a sexy cowboy, but there’s not much of a love story if he doesn’t have an interesting woman who can tame the untamable. Who’s up to the ever-so-pleasant but sometimes rocky task? How about a woman who really was a top-notch cowhand?
Let's talk about the women who thrived in the West. Western women weren’t merely transplanted eastern women. For the most part, Western women had more rights and were far more “modern” in their thinking. Wyoming granted women’s suffrage in 1869. Most of the western states and territories were far ahead of the eastern states when it came to suffrage, property rights, and marital law.  Many entreprenuerial women owned land and businesses in their own right.
With that in mind, let’s look at two women who shaped the character of Janelle Kathryn (aka J.K., shortened to Jake) O’Keefe, the shapely red-headed heroine (think Maureen O'Hara) in Much Ado About Mavericks ( Hearts of Owyhee #3).
Joe Monaghan
A lot of you know the story—Joe Monaghan was a woman who lived as a man in Owyhee County, Idaho Territory, for forty years.  They even made a (very fictionalized) movie about her.  But that’s not what interested me. What I found intriguing was what she did. As a member of the “weaker sex,” here’s a list of accomplishments:
    Little Joe Monaghan
    Worked a high-altitude mine, and worked harder than most men.
  • Worked odd jobs—carpentry, digging ditches, anything to make a coin
  • Bought a small acreage and raised chickens and garden vegetables—enough to sell and provide her with a decent living.
  • Hired out as a sheepherder
  • Hired out as a cowhand
  • Homesteaded
  • Earned money as a wrangler and bronc buster
  • Performed as Cowboy Joe in Whaylen's Wild West Show: the Greatest Show on Land or Sea (Whaylen offered to pay $25 to any man who brought a horse that Joe couldn't ride, and never once did he have to part with his money)
  • Built her own ranch and raised cattle
Now does that sound like the “weaker sex” to you? This is not an easy country to ranch in, either. Take a look: (be prepared to listen to a motorcycle.)

You can read more about Little Joe Monaghan at Unusual Historicals.
Kitty Wilkins
Kitty Wilkins
Now, we’ll go to a girlie-girl, a very feminine woman who you’d think would be the epitome of Victorian propriety. She also lived in Owyhee County. I’m referring to Kitty Wilkins, who, to this day, holds the record for the largest horsetrading deal in North American history.
Did she act like a man? No. Did she look like a man? No. The Sioux City Journal of Sioux City, Iowa, described Miss Wilkins as "a tall stately blond, with fluffy, golden hair, large blue eyes that have quite a knack of looking clear through one, regular features and pearly teeth which glisten and sparkle when she smiles, and she has a habit of smiling very frequently. Her lips are red and full, and her mouth and chin denote a certain firmness of manner, no doubt acquired in her peculiar calling."
Yet this woman could wheel and deal with the best of them. She knew horseflesh better than most men, and she understood the business. Find out more about Kitty Wilkins: Horsetrading in Petticoats here at Romancing The West.
So how did Little Joe Monaghan and Kitty Wilkins become Jake O’Keefe? I guess it just happens when visions mix up in the ether. Out came a beautiful woman who looks like Maureen O’Hara but is living in a man’s world where she has to make do with what she’s got. And what she has are the skills to make her the best foreman in the territory. She’s confident, competent, and bold. She wears clothing appropriate to her job; hence, britches instead of skirts. Only the strongest of men could match her without damaging his ego. (Maybe a little bump or two here and there.)
Now who would make the most improbable mate for a woman of this background? A Boston attorney. Yep. So that’s just what I gave her, and it was rather fun watching her work all this out. Sometimes an author needs to stay out of the way and let the characters tell the story, and believe me, no one gets in Jake’s way. Well, except for Ben. Whoo-baby!

FIVE STARS! Jacquie Rogers writes some of the best Historical Romances on today's market. Not content to simply write a plot and toss in a lot of bed scenes and/or filler, this author adds in subplots, humor, action, suspense, and some endearing strays. ~Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews

When you read a Jacquie Rogers book, you know you're in for a fast, fun ride! ~BookwormForever

A sexy ranch foreman who just happens to be a beautiful woman
A Boston lawyer who wants to settle his father's estate and go back East.
Rustlers who have another agenda in mind
Mayhem endangers them all--but can the foreman and the lawyer ever see eye to eye?

Benjamin Lawrence is a highly respected attorney in Boston, but in Idaho Territory, they still think of him as that gangly awkward boy named Skeeter. When he goes back home to settle his estate, he's confronted with a ridiculous will that would be easy to overturn--but can he win the regard of his family and neighbors--and the foreman?

The Bar EL's foreman, Janelle Kathryn aka J.K. aka Jake O'Keefe, is recognized as the best foreman in the territory. But being the best at her job still isn't enough--now she has to teach the new owner how to rope, brand, and work cattle before she receives clear title to her own ranch, the Circle J. The last thing she expects is rustlers. Can she save her ranch without losing her heart?
Much Ado About Mavericks ( Hearts of Owyhee #3)

Other books by Award-winning Author Jacquie Rogers:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jacquie's Western Roundup - Snag Some Great Books!

Men In Chaps

You just can't talk about sexy cowboys without including chaps.  There's nothing like a well-worn pair of chaps to set of the, um, physique of a hardworking man.  And you can always tell the dimestore cowboys from the real cowhands, too.  It's all in the chaps.

You can win
a Kindle copy of all three books in the
♥ Hearts of Owyhee ♥ series!
Yes, the entire series!
Details below

But back to chaps... Chaps have been worn since ancient times.  Medieval knights wore them, motorcycle riders and modern cowhands still do.  Chaps weren't invented to be sexy (they just are), but to protect the rider's britches and legs.  Anyone who has ridden through brush knows what a gouging and scratching you get.  Leather chaps are tough and provide not just protection from stickers and scratches, but also minimal padding against impact.

And, let's face it--they look totally cool.


The first thing to know is the 'ch' is pronounced 'sh,' so shaps.  Chaps is a shortened version of the Spanish chaparajos or chaparreras, and they were introduced to Texas from the Mexican vaqueros, as was so much of our Western gear, methods, and lore.  In Texas, the first chaps where called "shotguns" (the straight-legged kind), and in the early 1880s, batwings became popular.  Batwings are what the cowboys in the B-westerns wore, and what the rodeo cowboys use today.  Then there are the woolies worn in the northern areas in the winter.

But let's take a scenic tour.

Nat Love aka Deadwood Dick

This classic pose by Nat Love personifies the coolness of chaps.  It also shows that the man has to wear the chaps, not the other way around.  Nat Love was capable and confident, and it sure shows.

I use chaps to demonstrate the metamorphosis of a Boston greenhorn to a cowhand in the third book of the Hearts of Owyhee series, Much Ado About Mavericks.

Reginald Morris is a secondary character.  He comes to Henderson Flats with his sister, who's determined to marry the hero, Ben, because her father wants Ben to take over as senior partner in the family law firm.  Reginald has never been good for anything except spending money on women and fun, but once he gets to Owyhee County, he sees there's more to life.  Chaps.

Jake: The heroine--she's foreman of the Bar EL Ranch.  Her name is Janelle Kathryn, shortened to J.K, but everyone calls her Jake.
Ben: The hero--he left home (the Bar EL) when he was 15 to attend Harvard and is now an attorney of high repute in Boston, but comes home to settle his father's estate.
Reginald: The son of the man who owns the Boston law firm where Ben works.
Patience: Reginald's sister, bound and determined to marry Ben.
Fred: Cowhand at the Bar EL
Whip: An old cowhand, now the Bar EL cook.

Ben watched as Fred, whom everyone knew coveted Jake’s job, managed to saddle the mustang, crawl on, and take the reins.  At the nod of his head, Crip and Slim let go.  The horse exploded, bucking high, and spinning right.  Fred stuck through the first burst, then the second as the wiry mustang reared and twisted, bucked and spun.  In a spit second, the horse locked his front legs,  skidded to an abrupt stop, and Fred sailed over his head.

“One minute and eighteen seconds,” Crip shouted.  “Good job, Fred.”

Jake rested her arms on the fence beside Ben.  “That’ll probably get him in the money round.  Too bad he won’t win.”

Frowning, Reginald asked, “Money round?”

Jake rolled her eyes and Ben explained, “The Bar EL pays twenty dollars to the winner of round two.  That’s why it’s called the money round.”

“Number twenty-two,” Crip called.

Reginald gritted his teeth.  “Aw, hell, that’s me.”

The cowhands hooted and hollered.  “Let’s see the greenhorn ride!”

Whip handed him a pair of worn chaps.  “Know how to put these on?”


Jake rolled her eyes again.  Ben didn’t want Reginald to be too humiliated--after all, his father was Ben’s boss.  “Whip, you help him with the chaps and tell him what to do.  I’ll get my saddle for him to use.”

 Patience pushed her way through the cowhands and confronted her brother.  “You simply can’t mean to do this.  Why, it’s not dignified, let alone civilized!”

“Sister, you’re annoying me.  Go tat some lace, or something.”

Jake moved between them.  “Ma’am, if you ain’t riding, then get out of the way.  Otherwise, draw a number.”  Ben had never been prouder of Jake than at that moment.  Ladies all over Boston cowed to Patience’s every whim.  But not Jake.  Never Jake.

“You can’t tell me what to do,” Patience snarled.

Reginald took her arm and led her away.  “Trust me, she can.  Now go away and let me take my turn before they give it to someone else.”  He turned to Ben.  “I’m ready for the saddle, now.”

Patience stood back, her lips pursed.  Ben figured she was angrier at Jake for showing her up than at Reginald defying her wishes.  “Go over to where the other women are, Patience.  You could get hurt out here.”

“As if you care!” She spun around and flitted to Mabel and Suzanne.  Her lips were still going.  Ben was thankful he didn’t have to listen.

Reginald put on a respectable show.  Over thirty seconds was considered a decent ride on a rank horse.  He came back dirty, sweaty, and grinning.  “Damn, this is fun!”

“Even eating dirt?” Jake asked.

He wiped his face with his sleeve.  “That part, I could do without.”

Hearts of Owyhee

To win all three books, just leave a comment--who's your favorite man in chaps?  Be sure to leave your email address to be eligible to win.  Good luck!

Special thanks to M.K. McClintock for wrangling this roundup!

Want more sexy cowboys? Visit these blogs and enter to win even more stuff!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chicken Dinner: Madams and Orphans

This has been a busy week since Much Ado About Madams had a couple of free days on Amazon, and is now only 99¢.

This book is about six soiled doves, a suffragist, and a brothel owner. It's all in good fun wrapped up in a heartwarming romance. But what about the real calico queens of the Old West?

Generally, the first women to populate a new boomtown, ranching settlement, or near a military installation were the ladies of ill-fame. With a taste for adventure, these ladies showed just as much bravery and derring-do as the miners and cattlemen who forged the new country.

Several sites have good information including:
Soiled Doves: Jan Koski's American Old West, Notorious History and More

And here's a video with pictures of sportin' women. Um, some of them have quite a bit bigger hairdos than wardrobes. Yes, some are nekkid. You have been warned.

We have a Winner!

Ciara Gold, author of
will send
Devon Matthews
a free signed copy!

Congratulations, Devon!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Little Hands That Helped Shape the West

Ciara Gold,
author and artist

The Little Hands
that Helped
Shape the West
by Ciara Gold

The old west is filled with many stories and situations that become a writer’s playground for ideas. One such situation is the orphan train and the many lives affected by the transportation of orphans from New York to rural areas in the west. The practice began in 1854 when Charles Loring Brace and a group of business men formed the Children’s Aid Society. At the time, New York City became overwhelmed with homeless and abandoned children who were living on the streets under the worst impoverished conditions imaginable. With western expansion, rural folks had a need for large families to work the land so it just seemed logical to place these waifs with farmers and ranchers who wanted and needed children. Some of the children were accepted as part of the family while others weren’t so lucky.

The “train” wasn’t always a locomotive. Transportation could have been by ship, train or wagon, but arrangements for placement of the children varied. In some cases, the children were spoken for prior to placement. In other situations, a group of children would be put on the train with a case worker. At each scheduled stop, a representative of the town (most often a clergyman) would conduct an auction of sorts. The prospective parents could meet the children and make their selections. The case worker had papers for parents to sign, and the children were given new homes. Those not chosen would be put back on board for the next stop, and the process started all over again. Case workers were supposed to come back within a few months to make sure the children had been placed in decent situations.

The heroine for Once Jilted, Shauna, is loosely based on a real person. My mother’s best friend’s mother, Agnes, ended up in Texas as an orphan train rider. The woman did not have a pleasant time of it when she was adopted and had a very difficult childhood until she turned eighteen and left to make her own way.

Agnes was to be adopted by a family when she was five and rode the ship from New York to Texas, then boarded a train that would take her to her new family. The trip took more than a month, but when she arrived, the couple decided they didn't want her because she didn’t speak their language, and they couldn’t understand her and vice versa. She had to return to the local church rectory, only this time - alone, with no other orphans to keep her company.

Afterwards, she stayed at the rectory until she was at last spoken for. The couple who took her did so to please the husband's mother as it was she who was taken by the little girl. Agnes spent her remaining childhood with rural folks who treated her more like an indentured servant than a beloved daughter.

Once Jilted's Shauna is fashioned after Agnes. The story starts out with Shauna at the altar and no groom. She’d been jilted, but her family isn’t surprised. After all, she’s not the best catch and would do best to just stay with them. She hadn’t loved the groom. He was just a means of escape from her current situation, but she resigns herself to her fate until she sees an ad on the store wall announcing the arrival of orphans for adoption. So her story begins. Her foster parents want to take in another child because Shauna has outlived her usefulness, and Shauna is determined to thwart their efforts.

Brenda Talley of the Romance Studio wrote: "The escapades of this strong-minded woman were so intricately written it was impossible to not love Shauna and hope for love and happiness to find her. Her counterpart was an Irishman, Kane McKenna, whose mannerisms made him a stand-out, perfect compliment for Shauna. …This book was an emotional one for me. I have to admit that I laughed out loud, but I also shed several tears. And the ending—not what I was expecting.”

Jacquie, thanks so much for letting me visit Romancing the West. I enjoyed giving a bit of background to the story. ~Ciara Gold

Enter to Win a Free Book!

For those that leave a comment on either of this week's posts (read her interview and an excerpt of Once Jilted), Ciara will give away a signed print version of Once Jilted. She’ll announce the winner on her own blog on July 15 and you can then send her an email with your snail mail address. So – visit Ciara's blog to find out who won.  Winner will also be announced, as usual, right here at the RTW's Sunday Chicken Dinner.

Small print: USA mailing only.  To enter the contest, email address must be included with your comment.  Comments without contact information will not be entered.  Drawing will be held at 9pm Pacific Time on July 14, 2012.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ciara Gold: Once Jilted

Once Jilted
by Ciara Gold

Romancing The West welcomes Ciara Gold, a native Texan who's an artist and writer. Be sure to look at some of her wonderful art pieces! She writes historical westerns, time travels, futuristic romances and fantasies, and we're lucky to have her visit us this week. If you'd like to learn more about Ciara, you can visit her website bio.

RTW: Thanks for dropping in, Ciara! To get us started, please tell us a little about Once Jilted (great title, by the way).

CG: Once Jilted is a western historical romance. Here's the back cover blurb:

How many times will an orphan be cast aside before someone offers love?

Shauna Joyce has three weeks to find a husband or face watching a special little girl fall into the hands of loveless parents. An orphan herself, she knows the heartache of growing up without love. Armed with a need greater than her own, she finds a likely candidate in bridge-builder, Kane McKenna.

Kane McKenna has one goal; to finish the bridge he’s erecting so he can earn the capital needed to start a business of his own. A wife and child would drain his finances, so when Shauna Joyce proposes marriage, he balks at the idea. Will her determination be enough to build the bridge of trust needed to make him trade one dream for another?

See details at the bottom of this article

RTW: Why do you write Westerns? What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into Once Jilted?

CG: I first fell in love with historical western romances as a reader. They became my “comfort” read and I always thought maybe I was meant to live back then. The idea that these people triumphed over harsh conditions to make a living is hero/heroine material anyway you cut it. They had an inner drive that makes them larger than life. Plus, things were much simpler, less hectic. There’s nothing more soothing than sleeping under the stars with crickets fiddling their tune and the wind rustling the leaves and no traffic sounds at all. I hope that I incorporate this sense of “place” with all my historical westerns.

Ciara Gold, author and artist
RTW: If you lived in 1876 what would you visit first? Is there something you’ve been curious about that you can’t find in your research sources?

CG: I think most readers fantasize about the cowboy in general but not all of our pioneers were cowboys. They had other professions, but it’s often hard to find detailed information regarding these professions. I tend to enjoy finding a profession for my hero that’s every bit as romantic as the cowboy and I hate to think that the single woman alone had only three options, schoolmarm, running the ranch or farm by herself, and calico queen. That’s one of the reasons why I chose to make my newest heroine a telegraph operator.

Anyway, back to the question, I think I’d like to visit a mid-sized town and follow in the footsteps of a working woman who took on responsibilities ordinarily handled by a man.

RTW: If a person who had never read a Western (any sub-genre) asked you for a recommendation, what novel or movie would you recommend and why? What did the author do to bring the story alive for you?

CG: Coulter’s Wife by Joan Johnston is one of my all time favorite books. It combines all the things you expect to find in a western; a hero that embodies the essence of a true cowboy, a strong heroine determined to fight for her family, and the inner workings of dealing with cattle. The book also weaves in secondary characters that really make the time and era come alive. A lot of western books don’t include children but I think children are an important part of life back then. They married young and had a lot of children to work the land.

As for recommending a movie, The Range comes to mind, but I think I watched more TV shows than movies. I grew up watching shows like The Rifleman, Wagon Train, Bonanza, The Big Valley, Lancer, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

RTW: Why must Shauna Joyce take this particular story journey? What does she have to prove? How does Kane McKenna affect her journey?

CG: Shauna was an orphan train rider, and I based her character on my mother’s best friend’s mother. This woman had a sad experience as an orphan train rider so I let her story be Shauna’s backstory. Shauna finds herself working as a slave for the folks who raised her and she wants out but when she discovers they plan to adopt another child with which to do the same, Shauna does all in her power to ruin their plans. To adopt the girl herself, she needs a husband so she sets her sights on a man who’s the engineer for a bridge the town is erecting. Of course, he refuses her proposition but he misunderstands her need to get married and so the rumors begin. Shauna must now fight the town’s growing antagonism toward her while still trying to find a husband so she can save one child the same misery she’s experienced.

RTW: We'd love to read an excerpt. Please tell us a little about what brings us to this scene.

CG: Shauna has just propositioned Kane and of course, he misunderstands her urgent need.

Excerpt from Once Jilted
by Ciara Gold

“You plan to have the babe out of wedlock?” Kane scratched his head.

Shauna looked skyward and gritted her teeth. Was the man dense? “Can you stop walking? It’s hard to talk to you at this pace.”

He slowed but continued to walk. “Daylight’s a wasting and I’ve got a deadline.”

“Will you at least let me explain so you can stop the rumors?” Her foot caught a gopher hole, and she tripped, falling headlong onto the hard ground. She cried out when her elbow kissed the ground.

“Goodness, you’re a walking calamity. First pickles and now, a sprawl in the grass. You wouldn’t perchance be related to me Aunt Nell?”

She groaned and rolled to her knees. Every joint ached. Twigs and grass stuck to her dress, and she brushed them away with sore hands. She moaned at the pain and glared at her scraped skin.

“Are you hurt?”

Now he asked. She shook her head. “I’m not sure.”

He grabbed her elbow none too gently and helped her stand. She tested her foot and found herself uninjured. Praise be. An injury would have complicated matters more. “Thank you, Mr. McKenna.”

“You’re welcome. Now, if you doon’t mind, I’d like to be gettin’ back to me work.”

“But . . .”

“Miss Joyce, do you see that armature?” He pointed a finger at the structure. “That’s a mighty important bridge to folks around here. Can you tell me in all honesty that your quest for a hoosband be as important as the building of that bridge?”

She swallowed hard and frowned, thinking of Sarabeth. “For one person, it’s even more important.”

He frowned. “To be sure, and I can sympathize with your plight. Unwed and pregnant must weigh heavy on your mind, but alas, I can noot help you, nor can any of me men. Good day, Miss Joyce.”

She stomped her sore foot and grimaced. “For the last time, I am not expecting!”

Her shout brought the attentions of his workers. Seventeen sets of eyes peered down at her, and the heat rose to her cheeks.

“Now see what you’ve done. You’ve distracted them froom their work again. At this rate, it’ll take me five years to have this bridge completed.”
♥ ♥ ♥
Once Jilted is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ARe, and Champagne Books

RTW: Poor Shauna--she really has her work cut out for her! So what other news do you have for us?

CG: Texas Forged will be out in mid to late August and features a brawny blacksmith and a telegraph operator. I chose to set this story in Indianola because it’s now a ghost town but in researching the location, I discovered it to be the site of not one, but two devastating hurricanes. What better way to add additional tension than to place them in the middle of nature’s fury? Aubrey is searching for her missing husband who walked out on her ten years prior with their two-year-old son. A lead sends her to Indianola where she mistakes his half-brother, Galin Walker for her husband.

RTW: Will Texas Forged be part of a series?

CG: No, at this time I only have plans to make it a single title. However, I’m also working on a story that is part of a series. For those that have read Sarah’s Brass Token, Julia’s Golden Bear, Eliza’s Copper Penny and/or Kaitlin’s Silver Lining, I’m drafting Will’s story. He’s the eldest brother and the one left with his father’s legacy, a sprawling ranch, so he has no time for courting. The heroine is a rescued Cherokee captive with her own agenda. I think this relationship will prove a stormy one and a lot of fun to write. Of course, I write slow so I don’t expect to have it finished for another year, but...

RTW: Thanks so much for joining us today, Ciara, and we'll look forward to your article on Thursday. Now tell us about that contest you teased us with.

Enter to Win a Free Book!

For those that leave a comment on either of this week's posts, I’ll give away a signed print version of Once Jilted. I’ll announce the winner on my own blog on July 15 and you can then send me an email with your snail mail address. So – come visit my blog to find out who won.  Winner will also be announced, as usual, at the RTW's Sunday Chicken Dinner.

Small print: USA mailing only.  To enter the contest, email address must be included with your comment.  Comments without contact information will not be entered.  Drawing will be held at 9pm Pacific Time on July 14, 2012.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chicken Dinner: Mavericks, Paiutes, and a Blind Pianist

Can you believe it's nearly the 4th of July??? Independence Day has to be my favorite holiday--family, friends, food, and fireworks. What's not to love?

It's been a busy spring around Camp Rogers and the summer is lining up to be even busier. It's my favorite time of year, though. Love the fresh air and spring breezes.

Publication date for Much Ado About Mavericks (Hearts of Owyhee #3) was set for July 1 but Mélange Publishing already has it ready to go in Kindle. It'll be ready in other formats as well as in print. Plans are for Much Ado About Madams to go to print soon, too.

So what happened this week in the Old West?

July 3, 1884: Teddy Blue (E.C. Abbott), writes that Granville Stuart and his outfit hanged a rustler (near the present day ghost town of Giltedge in Fergus County, Montana).

July 4, 1854: Happy birthday to Bill Tilghman!

July 5, 1867: - Battle with the Paiutes at Donner and Blitzen Creek in Oregon Territory--Lt. Col. George Crook was attacked as the 1st Cavalry was camped. They'd been pursuing the Paiutes. Five Paiutes were killed but the Indians ran off most of the horses and mules, leaving them stranded.

Silver City (Idaho Territory) residents had lots of business dealings in the rest of the country, and often with Texas cattlemen. Here's a report from The Owyhee Avalanche, first printed June 29, 1872, and reprinted June 27, 2012.
HOME AGAIN. Con. Shea got back from Texas this week, and is in best of health. He has 1,400 head of beef cattle on the Arkansas River, in [the] charge of his brother Tim, Dan Driscol, Jack Stoddard, George Stoddard, and Billy Treloar. The boys are all well and are having a a gay time among the Arkansas girls. Mr. Shea saw Tom Ewing and Charley Ingraham at Ellsworth, Kansas. Tome is dealing in cattle, and getting rich. Tom Bugbee is also there engaged in the same business, and doing well. Joe Corwin is at Wichita, Kansas, speculation in lands and cattle, making plenty of money. Mr. Shea informs us that his (Shea's) cattle will probably arrive here this fall.
And they had lots of entertainment as well. No television or video games in those days, you know.
THE CONCERT. The concert, given under the auspices of the Masonic Fraternity, last Saturday evening, for the benefit of Prof. Stanley, the blind pianist, gave immense satisfaction adn was a decided success finaancially, the net proceeds amounting to $227. For an almost impromptu affair, we do not believe there is not a mining camp on the Pacific coast that could furnish a better entertainment.
Contest Winner!
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Virginia C!
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The Wanted Man
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