Monday, February 19, 2024

Unexpected New Book!


 February has been great in the romance department. An unexpected creative spark has brought about a new book. Though it would be great if I could finish older books. 

Book 5 in the Wild Love Series was not something I had planned. But two sub characters in Outlaw's Redemption finally demanded that their story be told.

A good friend read Outlaw's Redemption and wanted to know when the book about Jaron and Marti was coming out. I had to break her heart and tell her I wasn't planning on a book for them. And I wasn't. Until...

Two years later, I had this random thought about Jaron and Marti while I was at work. That nightshift, I pulled out my microphone and dictated my ideas. The next night I did the same thing. Soon their story was flowing.

It was a crazy breakthrough for me! I've been struggling for the past few years to get writing done. My creativity is hiding behind a door somewhere. Jaron and Marti kicked down the door and the words flowed.

I'm happy to say the book is almost ready to become a rough draft. I have to fill in a few places and rearrange a few things. After that I can go through it and get it in rough draft form.

My friend is so thrilled that I'm writing about Marti and Jaron, and she can't wait to read it.

A rough synopsis...

Marti Barkley, a determined young woman who sets out for Boston to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, seeking refuge from a heart-wrenching tragedy. However, her return takes a perilous turn when her train is ambushed, thrusting her into a dangerous situation. To her surprise, the one who emerges as her rescuer is none other than Jaron Wolf, the man who had once shattered her heart.

Jaron, grappling with long-held anger and the pain of Marti's departure, embarks on a daring mission to rescue her. As Marti finds safety in his arms once again, Jaron discovers that his love for her remains unwavering. Throughout the perilous journey home, Jaron strives to convince Marti that their love can transcend past heartaches, believing they are destined to be together.

However, Marti, guarded by a deeply hidden pain, is reluctant to let Jaron back into her heart. Her emotional barriers create a challenge for Jaron, who is determined to unravel the layers of her pain and prove that their love is worth reclaiming.

Returning Love is a touching tale of resilience, forgiveness, and the enduring power of love, as Marti and Jaron navigate through danger and emotional barriers, rediscovering each other against the backdrop of a perilous journey and the mending of once-broken hearts.

If you are interested in learning about Marti and Jaron, you can read about them in Outlaw's Redemption.  A book that I'm happy to say has achieved another award!

A promise made to a dying man brought Boone Cain to the town of Rimrock. Four years of war had left scars on his body and soul and years of drifting had turned him into a dangerous gunman. He had been prepared for a lot in fulfilling his promise, but he hadn’t been prepared for Leslie Barkley. She melted the ice surrounding his heart and his need for her could make keeping his promise extremely difficult. Getting involved with her was something he couldn’t let happen, but his need for her could win and put her in danger.

Leslie’s gift of premonitions had not warned her about the gunman that came to her boardinghouse looking for a place to stay. Nor had it warned her of the trouble that would follow this handsome, haunted man. Though Leslie had never met Boone before, he is familiar to her. A past premonition? This secretive gunman is connected to her in a way she never imagined and the truth will test her feelings for him.

 Can they put the past to rest and live the lives they were destined for?

I've enjoyed writing the Wild Love Series. I love each book.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Bat Masterson


Bartholemew "Bat" Masterson was an iconic figure of the American Old West, known for his colorful life as a lawman, buffalo hunter, gambler, and sports writer. Born on November 26, 1853 in Henryville, Quebec, Canada, Masterson's family moved to the United States when he was young,settling in Kansas.

Masterson's reputation was forged primarily in the frontier towns of the American West during the late 19th century. He gained fame as a lawman, serving as a sheriff's deputy in Dodge City, Kansas, and later a U.S. Marshal for the Southern District  of New York. Masterson was known for his cool demeanor, quick wit and skill with firearms, earning him respect among both allies and adversaries.

Beyond his law enforcement career, Masterson was also drawn to the world of gambling and became a well-known gambler in his own right. He frequented many of the saloons and gambling halls that dotted the frontier landscape, often participating in high-stakes games of poker and faro. 

In his later years, Masterson transitioned to a career in journalism, becoming a sports writer for newspapers such as the New York Morning Telegraph.He covered boxing matches and other sporting events, offering colorful commentary and insights drawn from his own experiences  in the rough-and-tumble world of the Old West. Masterson's life was one of adventure and intrigue, leaving an indelible mark on the history and mythology of the American frontier. He passed away on October 25, 1921,in New York City, leaving behind a legacy that continues to captivate imaginations to this day.


Public Domain, 


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

My Strange Valentine

Ten Valentine Tidbits

 As it is with many of our holidays, the current Valentine's Day came about because Christians were trying to redefine a Pagan holiday. You see the Pagans loved a little violence with their holy days. Things like throwing virgins into volcanos or setting people on fire. The Christians, while not adverse to such activities, preferred to have holidays that didn't require human sacrifies.Therefore we went from having men beat their wives on Valentine's Day to men giving their wives flowers and candy. I think we owe the Christians a debt of gratitude!
Valentine's Day is celebrated around the world in a variety of ways. It's become known as a celebration of fertility and love. Here are some facts about this sweet holiday:

1. Shakespeare romanticzed Valentine's Day by including it in his poems and plays.
2. It became popular in Germany after the end of WWII. Germans made pigs a symbol of the day. Pigs are a sign of good luck and figure into their Valentine's Day gifts. They also give large heart-shaped gingerbread cookies known as lebkuchen to their sweethearts.
3. In parts of Latin American, Valentine's Day is known as El Dia del Amor y Amistad (Day of Love and Friendship).
4. In the 1980s Estonia and Finland began recognizing platonic love and friendship along with romantic love. They meet with friends for dinner and the exchange of gifts.
5. Marriage is celebrated in the Philippines where mass weddings are performed for couples who can't afford their own ceremonies. Thousands of couples tie the knot throughout the country on that day. Not surprisingly, Feb. 14 is the most common wedding anniversary in the Philippines.
6. Chocolates are given to men in Japan. One origin of the tradition is that chocolate manufacturers suggested that women use Valentine's chocolate to confess their romantic feelings. Women give different types of chocolate. There is honmei choco (true feelings), giri choco (obligation, like to classmates or coworkers), and tomo choco (friendly feelings). Women get their gifts on March 14, White Day. That's when men return the favor with sweetheart gifts.
7. The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was sold in 1861. It was created by Richard Cadbury.
8. American households spend about $750 million on Valentine's gifts for their pets.
9. Conversation hearts began as medical lozenges, used for sore throats. A pharmacist invented a machine that simplified the way they were made, then he realized that he could use it to make candy, so he opened Necco --New England Confectionery Company. In 1866 sweet messages were added to them. The first ones were longer and on large lozenges. "Married in white you have chosen right." "How long shall I have to wait? Please be considerate."
10. The first Valentine was sent in the 15th Century from the Tower of London where French Duke Charles was imprisoned. He wrote to his wife: "I am already sick of love. My very gentle Valentine."

No matter how you celebrate it, Valentine's Day is all above love. Here's hoping this day brings all the love your heart can hold!


Humor in the Old West?

 Post by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo (C) Doris McCraw


Rocky Mountain News, February 15, 1885

This little bit of humor comes from The Fairplay Flume of February 5, 1897

"They say that the sense of humor is very rare." "Well, most men have a sense of their own humor, but they haven't any sense of other people's humor."

To finish the piece about humor, I thought this article from the Colorado Daily Chieftain of May 26, 1892, might be of interest to we writers of the West.

There are so many strange articles in these old newspapers. I sometimes wonder how they got into print. I just have to share them for 'historic' purposes, I swear.


Until Next Time, 

Stay Safe, Stay Happy, Stay Healthy.


Monday, February 12, 2024

Romancing Cupid by Jan Scarbrough

Cupid, ancient Roman god of love in all its varieties, the counterpart of the Greek god Eros and the equivalent of Amor in Latin poetry. According to myth, Cupid was the son of Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, and Venus, the goddess of love. He often appeared as a winged infant carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows whose wounds inspired love or passion in his every victim. He was sometimes portrayed wearing armor like that of Mars, the god of war, perhaps to suggest ironic parallels between warfare and romance or to
 symbolize the invincibility of love.   

“Cupid”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 12 Feb. 2020,


Wow! I love the idea of the invincibility of love. As psychic medium Blair Robertson says, love never dies.


Romance novels (and Hallmark Channel movies) are about the conflicts leading up to true love. We love reading about whatever keeps the hero and heroine apart, but we always know they will end up happily-ever-after (HEA). Let’s face it, life is not always HEA. Because of that, we often need to escape into the world of books.


In my book Liz: The Dawsons of Montana, the hero Chaz thinks: Novels gave the reader the opportunity to experience the possibility of other choices without making those choices. In a book, the reader lived a life outside his normal existence, helping him learn about himself—or herself, as the case might be.


I often let my characters say the truths that I’ve learned from a few years of living. Here are a few quotes from different books:


The big world beyond was scary.


“C’mon, Mel. Make an old man’s dream come true.”

“That’s just it, dreams don’t come true.” She sounded as if she had voiced an inner conviction.

“Sure, they do, Mel. If you make them come true.”


Stef had also said it was dumb to love a man who didn’t love you back. 


“I guess a person can love more than once.”

“Yes, your dad and I are proof of that.” Liz gave a small laugh, her gaze faraway as if she envisioned someone standing across the floor. “And when that happens, you’re blessed.”


Have you learned anything about yourself from reading a romance novel?


Do you believe that love never dies?

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Playtime on the Prairie: How Kids Had Fun in the Old West

Set down your phone (unless you’re using it to view this post) and explore the playful side of the Old West, where children's imagination ran as wild as the buffalo.

In the 1800s, children didn't have video games or battery-operated toys. Instead, they had their creativity. Toys were often homemade, carved out of wood or sewn from scraps of fabric.

Little girls played with corn husk dolls, while boys had wooden figurines, which could be anything from a simple cowboy to a fierce-looking bear. These were so much more than just toys; they were characters in the clever stories sparked by the minds of the children. 

Miniature wagons, horses, and other animals were popular. Children would recreate the adventures of their parents, leading their own wagon trains across the perilous living room floor.

The great outdoors offered a vast playground where imagination and adventure knew no bounds. The classic Hoop & Stick game, which used large metal hoop from a barrel, could provide hours of entertainment. Kids ran, guiding the hoop along, keeping it upright as long as possible.

Hide & Seek was also a favorite, as the farm offered countless places to hide. Children hid behind hay stacks, in barns, or sometimes even among the livestock!

Foot races, sack races, and even improvised rodeo games kept the young'uns active and competitive. What could be more Western than learning to lasso? Kids would practice on fence posts and willing—or sometimes unwilling—siblings.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, and the lanterns flickered to life, the fun didn't stop. Without the city lights, the night sky was a spectacle. Children learned to identify constellations and tell stories about them. 

The whole family would gather around the fire, mesmerized by tales of outlaws, brave settlers, and maybe even a ghost story or two. Music was a big part of life, as well, with many families having at least one member who could strum a guitar or play the harmonica.

Playtime in the Old West wasn't just about fun; it was a training ground for life. Through play, children learned the skills they would need as adults, like sewing, woodworking, and animal care. They also learned values like teamwork, responsibility, and the importance of a good imagination. 

Anytime I study life in the 1800s, it makes me appreciate the simple joys of life. Maybe tonight, I'll put down the smartphone and look up at the stars. Or better yet, tell a story or two. 

Cowboy Kisses News ~ Julie Lence


Hello everyone! January is behind us and we're beginning February by welcoming a new author to the blog; Gini Rifkin. Gini writes western romance and is excited to join the group. Her first day to blog is February 28th. She is the Cowboy Kisses Facebook Group. Please take a moment to say hello and welcome her.  Thank you!