Monday, December 8, 2014

The Peddler by Kathleen Ball

The Peddler
By Kathleen Ball

Hello, I’m new to the Cowboy Kisses Blog. What an amazing group of authors and I’m honored to be one of them. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Kathleen Ball. I write western romance. I have nine published books and they are contemporary western romance but I’ve decided to write what I love to read, historical western romance.

I love all the research involved and I often wonder if I could have made it in the conditions the early settlers endured. I’m an indoor plumbing type of gal. Recently, with the cold weather, I’ve been extra grateful for indoor plumbing.  The rich history of the Texas Rangers, the Native Americans, the pioneers, wagon trains, mail order brides and cattle drives intrigue me. However, my latest interest is the peddlers of the old west. 

The peddlers were the Amazon of their time. They had just about everything a person could want and they came right to your door. They didn’t need advertising companies to sell their wares. They sold what people needed. Everything from sewing needles to butter churns and they often had goods ranging from pots and pans to hardware and spices.


 A traveling peddler brought news of the outside world to  small, isolated towns and settlements. When he drove his team toward a homestead he was welcome company. In a way, the peddler reminds me of Santa Claus. 

My latest work in progress is yet untitled but it’s about a young woman who is thrown off the wagon train and ends up lost in the Rocky Mountains. This is Patrick and Samantha’s Story-

Samantha wrapped her scarf around her head. No matter how many times she wrapped it the weight of the hardened ice dragged it down off her head. The naysayers were right, winter came early—very early and with a vengeance. She stared at the pure, white, snow dotted with Ponderosa pines. Their branches bowed from the snowy burden. She’d doubted her survival the minute they banned her from the wagon train but as she walked away, she grew determined to survive. What a difference a few weeks made. As soon as the storm hit two days ago her doubts returned.

She took a step and stumbled. The hem of her dress, caked with icy snow made it hard going. With each step, her feet punched through the snow and sunk.  Her hands stung from the biting cold. Soon she wouldn’t feel them anymore. She was well versed on the signs of frostbite. Pushing herself upright she struggled on, one exhausting step at a time.

The wind howled and she wanted to cry at its sad song. She’d been on her own for two long weeks now. How she hated the pious women, she’d traveled with. The death of her parents left her alone and a woman alone was not allowed. The married women believed she’d entice their husbands. The same women whose children she nursed when they were sick. The hypocrisy ate at her soul.

It was either marry Old Thomas or leave. She refused to marry, calling their bluff. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a bluff. They threw her a sack of food and a canteen of water and left her behind.

Again she fell, face first into the snow. Struggling to rise she shook her head. Maybe it’d be easier to just lay there and fall into a forever sleep. Her food was long ago eaten and her strength had held out surprisingly long, but now she wasn’t sure it was worth the effort.

A horse nickered and she pushed herself up. Her heart skipped a beat in fright. On the horse sat a huge man covered in animal furs. His rifle lay across his lap. 

“Get up,” He said, his voice full of anger.

Samantha pushed and struggled until she stood. This was it, she just hoped her death would be painless. Putting her frigid hands on her hips, she brazenly studied him. His slate blue eyes were full of compassion. He held out his hand. She grasped it and was hauled up in front of him. 

“Let’s get you warm.” He opened his fur coat, pulled her against his warm body and wrapped them both up. “Where are your people?”

“My people?”

“Yes, do you have a cabin here bouts? You shouldn’t be out here alone. It’s dangerous and in the snow it’s easy to get lost.”

Turning her head, she felt his warm breath against her cheek. His full beard brushed against her. “I’m on my own. I was hoping to find a town.”

He didn’t say anything else as he urged his steed forward. It was slow going in the snow but the horse seemed to know its way. Leaning back against his wide chest her eyes closed.

You can find out more about me and my books at


Alethea Williams said...

Kathleen, I can't wait to read your first historical romance! I don't think I've read anything except passing references to old-time traveling salesmen. This is great!

Celia Yeary said...

Congratulations, Kathleen! The Cowboys Kisses blog is a great one, and you are now in with some of the best. Good for you.
The excerpt was good, since it made me feel cold! I would have just died out there.
I like the premise of the story.
Good luck with it.

Ginger Jones Simpson said...

Just another welcome to the group. Your love of western historicals fit right in here and we're lucky to have you as a member. Thanks for the interesting contribution to history. Enjoyed it and look forward to reading your books.

Kathleen Ball said...

Thank you

Sandra Nachlinger said...

LOVE that scene! I'm looking forward to reading more.