Thursday, April 20, 2017

Guest Blogger--Barbara White Daille

Thanks for welcoming me back to Cowboy Kisses!

As I said in my first visit, almost all my books feature cowboys, one of my favorite types of hero. Another subset of faves is the cowboy/daddy hero, whether he’s a daddy when the book opens or he’s about to discover he has a child he never knew existed.

My upcoming book, The Rancher’s Baby Proposal, has a new twist for me. It’s the first time I’ve written the story of a single dad who is raising his child from birth. Don’t ask me why it’s taken me so long to get around to this story, because I love Reagan and his little boy Sean!

Watching the big, strong hero take care of his infant son tugged at my heart. So did seeing Reagan’s struggle to do the right thing for his child. Oh, and I can’t forget my surprise at how he handles the feisty flirt who’s crushed on him forever. :)

Here’s a peek at the back cover blurb:

Ally Martinez has always been known as a fun and flirty kind of gal. But deep down she’s never forgotten the cowboy who left town. When her crush Reagan Chase comes home after a five-year absence, Ally knows this is her big chance. The guy I’ve always wanted. Only Reagan has something different in mind…
Still reeling from his last relationship, Reagan needs a babysitter for his month-old son. With Ally’s help, he can get his family’s ranch ready for sale and get out of Cowboy Creek. The problem? Ally is one seriously cute distraction. But Reagan will do whatever it takes to keep his heart safe. Even if it means losing the only place—and the only woman—he can call home.
And here’s a clip from early on in the book:

Just as Reagan’s waitress disappeared through the doorway into the kitchen, the front door of the shop opened, and Ally entered.

Her long dark curls tumbled down almost to her waist and bounced as she walked toward him. She had never been tiny, and she had filled out more in the years since he had last seen her. With her gleaming dark eyes, rosy cheeks and snug orange T-shirt, she gave the bright pink seats and decorations in the sandwich shop some competition. He recalled her hanging around the schoolyard in grade school. He had been a couple of years ahead of her. Even that long ago, she had always acted larger than life—and been the life of the party.

Thinking of Sean, he frowned. Maybe Ally as a babysitter wouldn’t be such a good influence on a preteen or a teenager…but a one-month-old? What could it hurt? Besides, even if she accepted the offer he planned to present to her, he and the baby wouldn’t be here long enough for her to make much of an impact.

“Hi.” Sounding a little breathless, she took the booth across from him. “I got here as soon as I could.”

“Hope you didn’t have to rush.”

“No rush. No more than usual, anyhow. My papa says I never run at half speed when I can take it up to full.” She laughed. “But I’m running behind now because, just as I was leaving, one of the customers came to the register with a big order.”

Since they had met up at the local hardware store, where Ally worked as a clerk, she had slicked something on her lips, shiny and red as cherry candy. Suddenly, he felt an urge to lean across the tabletop for a taste.

Whoa, Nelly.

He’d been away from women too long. Or not long enough.

Sex wasn’t supposed to be on his radar for a good while into the future. Preferably, at least not till Sean turned twenty-one. He tried to think back to his school days and the younger Ally, when the few years’ age difference between them seemed a much wider gap.

“Is something wrong?” she asked. “You’re frowning.”

“No. Nothing’s wrong. I’m just trying to decide what to have. To drink.”

She smiled at him. “So, how has the big, bad city been treating you all these years? Well enough, I guess, or you would have been home again before now.”

“Houston did treat me well, I have to admit.” The woman he had met just before graduation was another story. “Going to school there was a good experience, one I don’t regret. But I’m not in Houston anymore. I’ve got a job outside San Antonio, sales manager for a distributor of farming equipment.”

She blinked those big dark eyes. “Why would you be selling farm equipment, when you have a ranch right here to come home to?”

“It pays the bills.”

“Oh.” His curt reply had thrown her. It didn’t keep her down for long. “Well, I can certainly see the benefits of that.”

He hoped so. Just as he hoped this meeting would benefit them both. But he wanted to lead up to his idea slowly. And he didn’t want to say too much about the past.

If he had his way, neither Ally nor anyone else in Cowboy Creek would learn what happened between him and the woman he’d loved and had thought loved him, too.


About the Author

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017


When I was growing up in New York, there was a rather forbidding museum in the no-man’s-land between the affluent upper east side and Harlem, before the latter had been gentrified.  While I visited it a couple of times, it was not the sort of place you would want to frequent:  dusty displays of buckskins and beads notated with typed descriptions you had to strain to read.  Not so today.
The NY branch of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian is now situated in  the magnificent Alexander Hamilton Customs House, a Beaux Arts building close to the ferries to Staten Island, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and therefore an excellent addition to a day of sightseeing if you happen to be in New York. The museum, which concerns all the Americas, consists of three main galleries branching off a central rotunda.This rotunda was where the customs officials sat—prior to regulation, charging whatever they felt like charging for the various goods brought into the country! The south gallery lodges the permanent collection, Infinity of Nations, housing seven hundred Native works of historic importance. 
Dress & corn husk pouch, Walla Walla
The east and west galleries have temporary exhibits of both Native history and contemporary culture.  The exhibit I found of particular interest during my recent visit was Native Fashion Now, displaying everything from street clothing to haute couture, yet still bound to Native identity and tradition. There is also the Diker Pavilion, which at the time of my last visit housed Circle of Dance displaying mannequins in dance costumes from Native people, and an auditorium for film, lectures and concerts including ‘Native Sounds,’ a children’s festival and a Native art market in December.
Couture dress by Orlando Dugi, Dine/Navajo

Sneakers by Wolf Chucks
The highlight of my visit, however, was the two, hour-long tours I joined, free, with not even tipping permitted.  The first was a cultural tour concentrating on the different use of masks in different cultures, how they make an individual into another person or animal, and what such transition can mean or be used for. These cultural tours change depending on the docent. The second tour was of the building itself.  Since this was once the Customs House taking in between $500,000 and one million dollars a day, it reflects the sort of wealth that could represent.  There is rare marble throughout, and the very best artisans were brought in from all over the world to work on the building in ways that would be difficult to replicate today. 
For instance, the ceiling dome of glass is not a raised dome at all but a trompe l’oeil made to look like a dome.  
We were shown the office of the Collector of Customs, a post appointed by the President and once said to be the fourth most powerful position in the country because for 125 years, customs duty was the main source of government income. Now used for events, the focus of the office was the woodwork screen by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the only known woodwork of this renowned  glassmaker.

While the museum does represent all indigenous peoples of the Americas, for me it is good to have the association with our own first nations right here.  Keep it in mind if you visit New York. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

True American Humorist.

The best thing about writing about the west is the cast of characters this broad landscape provides. Men larger than life that defy the odds, women who loved deep and helped tame a defiant land, and characters who are just larger than life. Today, I hope to introduce you to one of them, a gentleman whose real name is William Penn Adair. While the name might not ring a bell, his stage name Will Rodgers should. 

Will might have been known by a lot of names. He called himself a stage and motion picture actor with 71 movies to his credit. Of those 71, 50 were silent and 21 are listed as “talkies”. He had a stint as a vaudeville performer, which led to his inclusion in Ziegfeld’s Follies. He began life as an American cowboy, but his social commentary propelled him to the fore front on American radio as a humorist. His friends lovingly referred to him as Oklahoma’s Favorite Son. His three trips around the world, led him to pick up pen and paper writing in over 4,000 syndicated newspapers, making him a household word. 

Many of his statements ring true today. An avid flyer, in 1935, Will planned a trip with the famous aviator Wiley Post. While flying a test flight in a Lockheed Orion-Explorer, they encountered bad weather. The plane crashed taking Wiley and Will to their deaths. 

Here are some great examples of Will’s humor that has kept America laughing. 

I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.

On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.

I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do today. 

We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.

Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

Until next time.....
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