Saturday, November 21, 2020

Thanksgiving Tidings

Hello I’m Ruthie Manier. I’m thankful for all of you who joined me here today. I’m also thankful for beautiful horses as I see them in pastures close to where I live when I’m driving down HWY 9.

This picture was taken the other day when my son, grandsons, and I were on a drive. We noticed these horses and pulled over to say hi. They were sweet and enjoyed the petting. 

Question to all you horse owners, do you mind when people stop and pet your horses without asking? 

This Thursday is Thanksgiving and I’m so excited to make my family a delicious traditional meal. I must admit that I’ve only made turkey a couple of times in my entire life preferring ham instead. Usually my family goes to my sister Teresa’s for the holiday because I work, but this year due to COVID everything has changed for all of us. I’m sure you agree. I was lucky this year and I have the day off so I can cook the meal. 

For breakfast on Thanksgiving we’ve decided to have a pie competition and eat pie. It might become a new tradition for our family. What about all of you, do you have a Thanksgiving tradition? Comment if you do. I’d love to hear from you! 

Since it’s going to be a long weekend for many of us we’ll need a good book for those quiet times. This here is my Chasing Time series. There are three books in my time travel, western romance series The other two are named TUCKER and MARISSA. The stories are about the Clark family who are all close and loyal to each other. There’s nothing the Clark family wouldn’t do for the other even if their lives could be at stake, and sometimes their hearts.

After Jesse left, Skylar scanned the floor again for her cell, but it was in vain. Overcome with anxiety, she listened at the door for his footsteps to disappear before trying to flee. She was surprised to hear him talking to an older, boisterous woman just outside.
"Well, of course! Whatever you want, Jesse honey," the woman said in a rough voice that sounded like she had smoked her entire life. She had a southern accent that was sweeter than honey and could charm a cowboy out of his last dollar.
“We’re only here for your pleasure, hon. To be honest, though, I don’t recall hiring a new girl,” the woman said.
Oh shit! This isn’t good.
“I’ve never seen her before,” Jesse replied, “and I’ve been renting this room off and on since the poker game began. So, I’m pretty sure I am more than familiar with all your girls by now. This one definitely is new.
“If she had been around here long, I would’ve heard talk about her from the other men. She’s feisty and beautiful, a splendid combination.”
Hmm, he thinks I’m beautiful.
“Perhaps she stays busy in the cages and seldom comes down to
the casino. But don’t worry, honey. She’ll be waiting right here for you when you need her.”
Like hell, I will.
“Wind it up, Jesse. We’re all waiting to start,” a male voice called from the tables.
“On my way, Doc,” he called out.
Doc? Could he be talking to Doc Holiday?
Cummings couldn’t believe her ears.
“Thanks, Madam Rosie,” Jesse said before marching off to the
game. Skylar tried to look through the peep hole. She wanted to get a look at the woman the cowboy addressed. She wasn’t surprised when he slapped the matronly woman’s backside, much as he had her own.
She giggled and slapped his hand away playfully but remained outside the door. Skylar stiffened, waiting for her to move away so she

could return to the tour. She had no plans of adding actress to her resume.
Madame Rosie didn’t follow Jesse to the casino, though. She whipped the door open and stepped into the tiny room. She was a barrel of a woman with jet black hair, painted lips and powdered face. She glared at her with dark eyes, hands on ample hips and her mighty chest heaving. She surveyed her with a certain amount of contempt.
“You’re not one of my girls!” she proclaimed after examining Skylar from head to toe. “You’re just a skinny little runt. I’d never hire someone as fragile as you. You’d never survive a week here.
“I don’t know what Jesse sees in you. You’ve got a pretty face, but no body. I’ll bet you wouldn’t know how to give pleasure to a man if you had his hardware in your mouth and his gold in your hand.”
Skylar gulped air. She wanted out, but there was no getting past this bull of a woman. She didn’t like being insulted but retaliation was out of the question. The woman was twice her size and muscular. Her dark blue eyes were menacing and her massive hands, as big as any man’s, were waving in the air with every insult. She belonged in a wrestling ring, not in the halls of a museum.
Moves she learned in martial arts class in college were running through her head as the woman’s disparaging appraisal continued.
“At least you’ve got some wits about you. Keep your mouth shut. If you do as I say, and only what I say, you might get out of here alive. Now, who the hell are you, and how did you manage to get past my doormen and into Jesse’s room?”
Skylar didn’t know how to respond. She was so confused she could barely remember her name. She had no idea how to explain her arrival at the Bird Cage Theater, her appearance or how she ended up in the cowboy’s room.
“Are you another one of those money-grubbing wenches who is after Jesse’s money?” the woman challenged.
She didn’t want Jesse’s money; she wanted out.
“My name is Skylar; my friends call me Sky,” she replied. “To tell you the truth, I think I might have been drugged. I have no idea how I got here.”
Her menacing eyes softened as a look of concern crossed Rosie’s face. Then, she laughed and said, “What? Honey, did some big, bad
Ruthie L. Manier

wolf of a man drug you and bring you here to my establishment? What did he drug you with? Did they put laudanum in your drink? Who was it? I’ll send for the marshal.”
“That’s the problem.” Skylar said, crossing her arms over her chest and trying to look sorrowful. “I didn’t get a look at my abductor.”
Long before she studied martial arts, her mother had her take acting lessons. Skylar prayed they were finally paying off. She feigned tears and mild hysteria.
“Oh, no! Please, don’t cry,” the burly woman said as she took the distressed damsel into her arms to comfort her. “Would you like ol’ Rosie to fetch you some water, honey?”
Skylar nodded, pleased with her performance. Perhaps her act was working. She dabbed one eye with the embroidered hanky she was offered and awaited the opportunity for escape.
As soon as the woman turned to fetch water, Skylar sprinted for the door. She pulled it open and raced down a hallway that led to a stairway and the backstage of the theatre. She took the steps two at a time. As she ran toward freedom, an uneasy feeling gnawed at the back of her neck.
Looking over her shoulder, she was happy Madame Rosie wasn’t following. When she reached the short staircase on the other side of the stage, she leaped across it and entered an empty theatre.
She stopped immediately, though. The auditorium was nothing like it had been before. Every part of the room -- from the wallpaper to the curtains -- was sparkling new; it hadn’t been tarnished by one hundred years of aging. She marveled at the transition while keeping her trembling legs moving toward the exit. She cursed the horrible gown that slowed her escape, curling around her legs and threatening to trip her.
As she neared the saloon, music and laughter filled her ears. Still, she didn’t stop. She was desperate to get away.
She stopped abruptly when she entered the once surreal saloon. It now was filled with a rollicking crowd of actors, dressed in nineteenth century garb. She rubbed her eyes with her fists. Everything looked so authentic. A band of loud and rough looking cowboys, miners, and ladies of the night filled the chamber. They were dancing, playing cards, flirting and fulfilling desires she did not wish to witness.

She pushed through the revelers, trying to avoid the drunks and the rattiest looking of the crowd. Just as her escape route came into view, a big, strong arm wrapped around her waist and lifted her from her feet.
“Where do you think you are going in such a rush, wench?” a burly voice asked.
She was assaulted by his rank breath and body odor. He must not have bathed in over a year, because her stomach wretched at the stench. He had a long beard and only a few teeth that were stained yellow. She kicked at him, her shoes hammering his shins until his arms fell away and she was free again. The outside world was ten yards away.
Her freedom was short-lived, though. Her path was blocked by a second man who was the size of a mountain. He wore all black and looked meaner than a grizzly bear awakened on a winter night. Two cowboys stood at his side and blocked her passage. All three had six- shooters strapped to their massive thighs.
“Well, lookee, boys!” he barked. “It’s about time Rosie got a whore worth looking at. I believe I’ll be up in one of them cages for a while.”
His comments amused his friends, not Skylar.
“I call seconds,” one of them blurted out and spat on the floor.
As fearful as she was of her surroundings, Skylar was startled and
paralyzed by the sound of a gunshot. The blast was deafening. She covered her ears as blood flew everywhere.
As one cowboy crumbled to the floor, he grabbed for her and ripped her dress. She almost tumbled after him. She looked up and spotted the drunken miner who had just accosted her. He had a smoking gun pointing over her shoulder.
The room suddenly went wild. Fists flew. Tables and chairs were knocked over and more shots rang out. She became more desperate to escape when a bullet slammed into the miner’s chest and blew him backward against a wall.
She screamed and exited onto the street.
Again, Skylar was stunned by the transformation of her
surroundings. The once-quiet roadway was jammed with horses and wagons. A stagecoach skidded to a stop not far away. The air was fresh but dusty. Darkness had fallen, but kerosene-fed lamps sent golden

Ruthie L. Manier

light cascading into the street from dozens of businesses and saloons. Tombstone was alive with activity. It no longer was a quiet tourist destination.
Without warning, she was grabbed from behind again. Squeezed by a strong arm and lifted from her feet, Skylar fought like a banshee to free herself.
“Let me go!” she demanded.
“Woman, are you crazy? You almost got ran over by the Tombstone Stagecoach,” a stranger barked. A star on his chest indicated he was the marshal.
Tall and lean, he wore a black leather vest over a white shirt. He had a black mustache and dark eyes. His hardened stare was as arresting as any she had ever seen.
Rescued, real tears began to flow down Skylar’s cheeks. She was shaking and blubbering when a familiar voice rang out.
“Marshal, arrest that woman!” Rosie shouted.
Two heads turned toward the Bird Cage Theater.
“Why, what’s she done?” the marshal asked.
“Well, didn’t you see her running from my establishment?” Rosie
explained, lumbering forward, her arms churning like a locomotive. “Yeah, I reckon I did,” the marshal said, spitting a stream of tobacco juice onto the street. “She looked pretty frightened, too. What the hell is going on over there? Rosie, are you forcing women to work
off their husband’s gambling debts again?”
“Now, Marshal, you know I run an upscale business. The judge
dropped all those charges. You know that,” Rosie explained, batting her eyelashes innocently at the lawman.
“Uh huh, that’s why it’s known as the wildest, wickedest nightspot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast,” the marshal responded. “It’s no matter, Marshal,” Rosie said, waving her hand and pointing
a finger at Skylar. “This woman was up to no good. She snuck by my doormen to gain entry to my establishment. Then, when approached, she lied to me about somebody drugging her. She pretended to be a prostitute so she could sneak into Jesse’s room. Why, she’s even wearing one of the dresses I provide for my girls. So, she’s also a thief.”
“I’m not a prostitute or a thief,” Skylar barked.

Then, she felt the coins Jesse had deposited in her bodice and was overcome with dismay. She fainted into the arms of the marshal.
“Somebody get the doc,” the lawman called out to onlookers who had been drawn to the commotion. “And don’t you go too far, Rosie. You’ve got some answering to do about those shots I heard coming from your place.

Here is Tucker’s link:



Hidden agendas

Lucy opened her eyes, assuming she had experienced another short blackout. It took her eyes a minute to focus. She could see a shadow in front of her. Then, she realized it was a man reaching for his gun. She assumed it was the cowboy she had happened upon. Had it been hours ago or only minutes? How long had she been out?

“You again,” she said, trying to clear the cobwebs from her brain. 

“Yes, it’s me. Who did you think it was?” Tucker replied, somewhat mystified by her words. 

“Um, I figured you disappeared,” she said with an odd smile.

“You wish, sweetheart. I’m not one of those ghosts you came here to play hide-and-seek with. Nowgrab my hand, and let’s take our leave.” 

He reached to her, but she rejected him.

“I’m not going anywhere with you. I’m staying here and getting some shuteye while I can. I’d be fast asleep by now if it wasn’t for you disturbing my routine.”

“Do you mean to tell me you were planning to sleep here?” he asked with furrowed brows.

Lucy was aggravated with herself for letting her secret out, but she wasn’t going to tell him a thing. He wouldn’t understand anyway. No one ever did. 

“It’s none of your business what I plan to do, cowboy. And quit calling me sweetheart. I’m not your sweetheart. If you want to ‘take your leave,’ be my guest. Take your scathing looks and funny way of talking with youI won’t be stopping you.”

With that, she walked to the bed, threw her backpack against the wall and laid down. She fluffed the pillow, pulled it under her head and placed a tiny handgun next to it on the bed. 

It took a while for her situation to register with Tucker. Then he recalled Marissa telling him of people in the future sleeping on the streets because they had no home.

“My God, are you homeless? Tucker asked.

You win. Now, walk off somewhere so I can get some sleep.”

“If I don’t, are you planning to use that little peashooter on me?” he asked, his eyes sparkling with humor. He’d never seen such a tiny gun.

I might! It’s a real gun, by the way. It shoots real bullets. So, beware.” 

Tucker liked her tenacious spirit and couldn’t quit smiling. Of course, she was like no woman he had ever met, too.

“Take your best shot, sweetheart. But let me warn you. That little gun,wouldn’t keep me -- or anyone else, for that matter -- from getting to you if that was the intent.”

She looked up at him with hazy, tired eyes and said, ““Is it?”

“Is what?” 

“Is that your intent? Are you planning to force yourself on me?” she asked flatly.

His laughter was deep and harmonic. When he was able to speak, he said, “If that was my intention, sugar, you’d be in my lap right now. That beautiful mane of hair would be tossed in all directions and your clothes would be lying on the floor.” 

His straightforward reply made her blush. She liked his honesty. She was staring at him, trying to figure him out when the temperature of the room suddenly dropped. It meant there was a ghostly presence nearby. She hoped it wasn’t Margarita, a vengeful ghost who was killed by a prostitute named Gold Dollar. She killed her in a jealous rage when she discovered Margarita kissing her man in the middle of the saloon. 

Lucy rubbed her arms to fend off the chill. 

“You’re cold, and I feel a sudden draft in the air,” Tucker said. “Let me help warm you up.

He slid onto the bed next to her and, in one fluid motion, pulled her into his strong arms. Instead of grabbing her gun, she cuddled next to him and savored his warmth. It was nice, and she trusted him.

As she fell asleep, she imagined he would keep the ghosts away. They were here, laying in wait of her. She realized she would join them soon. Maybe not tonight, though. Not with the cowboy next to her. 


The third book is Jesse and Tucker’s younger sister MARISSA’S story to be released early in 2021. 
This cover could be changed. 



“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a dozen times, Little John, I’m going to campaign for women’s rights, and I don’t give a damn what the menfolk say.”

“I’m not asking you to quit, Marissa,” he replied. “I’m saying you need to be careful not to anger the wrong folks!”

“You mean don’t anger the wrong MEN!” 

She infuriated him. He grabbed her by the elbow and leaned into her toemphasize the importance of listening to what he had to say. Her indifference remained unchanged. So, John pulled her closer, so their faces were within inches of each other. 

That’s when she noticed his eyes change. Anger quickly disappeared, replaced by longing she hadn’t seen before. In an instant, she felt their souls unite. Then, the fury returned, and John made his point. 

“Yes, men. Bad men. Men who’d slit your throat without thinking twice,” hexplained, sliding his finger across her neck for emphasis.There are men in this town who believe voting is only a man’s right, and women should cook, clean and deliver babies. Nothing more. They’re willing to teach a woman like you exactly who wears the pants. Or they might hire other men to do their dirty work.”

His grip was tight, and his words scared her.

When Marissa began to tremble, he took her face tenderly in his giant hands and stared deep into her eyes to make sure she heard every word. Again, the anger disappeared. The pad of his right thumb caressed her bottom lip and brought her calm, as well as a tingling sensation that raced down her spine. 

She thought he might kiss her, but then his brother’s friend stepped back, cleared his throat and said, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Still furious, Marissa turned her back on him because she didn’t want him to see how his words and adoring eyes affected her. She put her foot in the stirrup and swung into the saddle atop her horse. She reined the mare defiantly north toward the Bar-C, the Clark family ranch. She prayed he didn’t follow. She needed time to mull over what just had happened. 

Little John waher older brother’s closest friend. Little John had been in her life for as long as she could remember. When Tucker was gone, he’d helped her prepare for the suffrage campaign for more than a year. Why had he chosen this day to argue about taking the campaign on the road? Why was he trying to scare her? She would expect such words from Tucker, but not John.

She had turned a deaf ear to the gossip around town. Some people were making disparaging remarks about her and her association with the suffrage movement. Marissa felt if they were talking about her, they were hearing her message. That was a good thing. She only worried about the negative sentiment. If her brothers, Ma, or Daniel heard some of them, there would be hell to pay.

Regardless, she believed the good people in town eventually would come around to her way of thinking. She realized some of the men wereriled up but didn’t believe they would do anything to hurt her, not to the extent John described. Some Tombstone men simply were afraid of change.

As she turned her attention back to John, she wasn’t sure if he wanted to turn her over his knee or take her in his huge arms. Her emotions were turbulent as she journeyed home.

There’s no way he has passionate feelings for me. He’s never even givenme the time of day

She flashed back to when she was an impressionable teen: At age thirteen, Marissa had the biggest crush on John, who always was hanging around with her big brother, Tucker. In an effort to earn his favor, she poured her soul out to him one starry summer night. She pledged her love and more

“One day I’m going to be your wife, and we’re going to have a wholeslew of kids,” she said and planted a kiss on his lips to seal the deal. 

Every time she thought about it, the shock and horror that creased his face made her smile. He absolutely didn’t see that coming from a naïve young girl who mistook his kindness for love. 

It broke her young heart and she fled in tears until he called her back. 

“Marissa, please stop! I’m sorry. Come back so we can talk about this. We’re friendsand you’re Tucker’s little sister. I would do nothing to hurt you. But you must understand, you’re much too young for me.

His words made her sob more.

“Oh, please. Don’t cry.”

They never discussed the incident again. Once her broken heart healed, Marissa promised herself she would never give him a chance to do it again. 

Her journey to the twenty-first century convinced her she needed a forward-thinking man, maybe one like Charles Wilcox. She met him on arescue mission to find her sister-in-law, Skylar. He was sweet and considerate. They dated casually. He took her to a few movies and dinner. He helped her feel not so out of place in a century that was so unlike the one she had been raised in.

She daydreamed about stepping back through the portal to the future tofind a partner just like her brothers. Then she scolded herself for her silliness.

What you saw in John’s eyes was sisterly love and nothing more. Quit being a silly goose! 

She was sure of it as the family ranch came into view in the distance. How she missed such a beautiful palette of colors – the red, yellow and brown of the Arizona Territory -- during the twelve months she spent in the future. She was happy to be home where she belonged. 

As she passed through the entrance of the Bar-C Ranch, she saw her Ma pop out the front door to see who approached. She lifted her hand above her eyes to block out the glare of the sun and smiled when she saw it was her daughter. 

Marissa looked behind her, and John was nowhere in sight. She hoped he wasn’t angry at her.

I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving with loved ones or close friends.  Thank you for reading and I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Bookbub, and LinkedIn. Take care until next month.


1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Ruthie! Have a blast with the pie eating contest and thank you for sharing your books. They sound wonderful! th