Wednesday, October 28, 2020

 Five Quick Ways to Support Your Favorite Authors! And a Reward for Doing So!

by Dorothy Wiley 

Storyteller of Love and Heroes on the American Frontier 

There are numerous ways you can show your support for your favorite authors and in today’s highly competitive publishing environment, your help means a great deal to each of us. Each of these suggestions are safe and helpful to authors and with all the terrible piracy of books going on, I wanted to share some of the websites that are the most beneficial to us. Of course, buying an author's books is the most obvious way to help (we all like to eat and pay bills), but there are other important ways as well. These suggestions may seem like a lot, but it only takes a few seconds or minutes to complete each one.

1) First, and foremost, rate and write a review of the author's book(s) for the book’s page on Amazon.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  This helps the author, by helping to increase the book's ranking, and it helps readers find good books. Your review doesn’t have to be long—a couple of sentences is sufficient. While you’re there, read some of the reviews for the book, and just beneath each review, click on “Yes” if the review was helpful to you. You can find the book's Amazon page by entering either the title or author's name in the search box. 

Also, follow the author on Amazon. Just click "Follow" under their photo on their Author Page. For example, here's my Author Page

2) Join a free service that helps millions of readers discover books they'll love while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. 

Follow your favorite authors there and you will be notified of their new releases and discounted or free books. I hope you'll follow me on BookBub I'll have a major giveaway through BookBub on Nov. 6! You can also write reviews for your favorite books. 

3) Join Goodreads a great site for book lovers, more than 1 million now, and it’s free!

Once you find your author, you can write reviews of their books. (Tip: you can copy your Amazon review and paste it on the book's Goodreads page.)  There's lots of good information on Goodreads and some authors, like me, have a blog there as well. 

4) If the author has a YouTube Channel, first, “subscribe” to their channel (it’s free). The Subscribe button is right under their name. That way you’ll know when they upload new book trailers. Second, view their trailers on YouTube and give them a thumbs up.

5) Follow the author on your favorite social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  You can like, but more importantly, SHARE the author’s posts. The SHARE arrow lets you share the author’s posts with others and increases its visibility. On Twitter, the most important thing you can do is tap the RETWEET button. On Facebook, many authors have both a personal page and an author page. Mine are Dorothy M. Wiley and Dorothy Wiley Author. On my personal page, I'll share family and political posts but on my author page, it is strictly book stuff. 

If you've done any of these for any of the authors you follow in this group, I know they are grateful!!! So, as a thank you, here's one of my favorite Fall recipes. It smells great while cooking and makes a quick and easy breakfast in the Fall. 


Makes two loaves. Warm oven to 325 degrees. 

1 cube butter softened
1/2 cup light tasting olive oil
3 eggs
1 small 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 1/2 cups sugar (I use 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cup Stevia powder in the bag)
3  1/2 cups flour (I use 2 white and 1 whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 or 1 cup chocolate chips or nuts

Mix shortening, eggs, and pumpkin. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients, and then add to pumpkin mixture and blend well. Add chocolate chips or nuts. (Can also be added to just one loaf, leaving one loaf plain.) Pour into two cooking spray coated loaf pans and bake for one hour. Let cool and then turn the pan over. It will drop out into your hand. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Legends of the Old West... the Lost Cement Mine


Legendary Mines….

There are many legends about the old west. Some have been solved. Some have not. One of the top ten unsolved mysteries comes from Bodie, California.

It revolves around a gold mine that is said to lie in the eastern Sierra Nevada of California around the town known as Brodie. According to the accounts, this mind was the site of a gold deposit that totaled more than  28,000 kilograms or 60,000 pounds.

According to one story, the mine was found by a pair of men who had become separated from a group. They wandered through the mountainous area coming across the headwaters of the Owens River. There they found some unique red indigenous rock that contained a large amount of gold.

The red rock was called Cement rock by the men who mined the area in the 1860’s and  from that the mine received it’s name.

One of the miners contracted the dreaded disease Tuberculosis and in order to be seen by the doctor traded his lump of cement to a Dr. Randall for payment of his services. When the ‘good doctor’ realized the wealth of his payment, he and his assistant, Gid Whiteman went in search of more. They traversed the hills to the south and west of a place called Deadman’s Summit. Of course, news of their search soon reached the ears of local newspapers. James Write wrote articles about the search in 1879. He even claimed they mine had been worked in secret for years.

Another story says that it was discovered by two men who broke away from a wagon train headed for California. They sat down by a stream because they were so weary and low and behold they caught sight of a huge amount of gold. Again, one of them took the gold and by the time he got to California he was sick and had to again, use the gold to pay for treatment.

Even Mark Twain got in on the story. He placed it in his book, Roughing It. His version had three German brothers hiding in the mountains to escape an attack on their wagon train. Hiding, they found the gold and took it back with them.

In 1869 the story takes a twist. Two men arrived in Stockton, They replenished their supplies, didn’t stay long before they headed out again. Between the years 1869 and 1877, they returned with a good amount of the ore. Their story goes that they met a priest who was ill and before he died, he and his companions had been mining near Mammoth Peak in a place called Pumice Mountain. There they found gold, a lot of it. Their haul amounted to $400,000 dollars.

But with each story, the site of the mine was covered up or destroyed to keep others from finding it. Today, people are still looking for this legendary Bonanza.


If you’d like to read more about the top unsolved mysteries from the wild west. Use the link below.

Unsolved Mysteries of the West



Happy Halloween


Friday, October 23, 2020

Nineteenth Century Army Quartermasters

For land armies, the term quartermaster was first coined in Germany as Quartiermeister. It initially denoted a court official with the duty of preparing the monarch's sleeping quarters. In the 17th century, it started to be used in various militaries in the sense of organizing supplies.

The Quartermaster Corps is the U.S. Army's oldest logistics branch, established 16 June 1775. On that date, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution providing for "one Quartermaster General of the grand army and a deputy, under him, for the separate army". From 1775 to 1912, this organization was known as the Quartermaster Department.

Montgomery C. Meigs


During the Civil War, Major General Montgomery C. Meigs lead the Quartermaster Department as it expanded to support an Army over 900,000 strong. He found himself over a dozen of the most important quartermaster officers came to their posts after training at West Point. They knew their business better than their boss, at least at first, and provide a service as vital to military operations as harnesses are to a four horse wagon. Without their determined efforts, the war machine would go haywire, pulling in a thousand directions. The supply system relied heavily on depots, the spending needed to arm the fastest growing army in the world.

Meigs hated the waste inherent in a military force. However, during the Civil War era, he developed a sense of practicality in response to soldiers who threw away clothing and supplies on a march or during battle. He is quoted as saying, "That an army is wasteful is certain, but it is more wasteful to allow a soldier to sicken and die for want of the blanket or knapsack, which he has thoughtlessly thrown away in the heat of the march or the fight than to again supply him on the first opportunity with these articles indispensable to help and efficiency."

He held this position until forced to retire in 1882, which meant that he also served as the quartermaster general throughout most of the frontier Indian wars era.

Quartermasters purchased clothing, equipment, animals, and services at an unprecedented pace. They operated a system of field depots and a transportation network to deliver the goods to the soldiers. Also in 1862, the Quartermaster Department assumed responsibility for burial of war dead and care of national cemeteries.

The quartermasters duties included: supplying horses to haul artillery, cavalry, and wagon trains, as well as the forage to feed them. The quartermasters built barracks and hospitals. The department furnished uniforms, socks, shoes, needles, thread, pots, canteens, and other goods to the men. The department's men also constructed and repaired roads, bridges, railroads, and military telegraph lines. Quartermasters chartered ships and steamers, providing the coal to fuel them and the docks and wharves to unload them.

Quartermaster & Ambulance Camp, Brandy Station, Virginia 

Throughout the nineteenth century the Quartermaster Department functioned differently than today's Quartermaster Corps. It did not have specialized military units. Instead Quartermasters relied upon contracted workers or detailed Soldiers. The Quartermaster Department did not purchase subsistence, although it did store and transport the provisions.

The efficiency of the frontier army which averaged about 20,000 men in the period 1855-1875 depended on the food, clothing, ammunition, forage, shelter, livestock and other supplies furnished by the government. The frontier military post, usually at some distance from the settled areas, was almost solely dependent upon supplies brought from a great distance. Gen. W. T. Sherman reported in 1869:

Quartermaster and Ambulance Camp, 6th Corps, Brandy Station, Virginia

If the army could be concentrated and quartered in the region of supplies, the expenses could be kept down to a comparatively small sum; or if we had, as in former years, a single line of frontier a little in advance of the settlements, the same or similar would be the result; but now, from the nature of the case, our troops are scattered by companies to posts in the most inhospitable parts of the continent, to which every article of food, forage, clothing, ammunition, &c., must be hauled in wagons hundreds of miles at great cost. For the same reason this department [quartermaster] is heavily taxed by the cost of fuel and materials for making huts, sometimes at a distance of one or two hundred miles from a place where a growing twig as large as a walking stick can be found.


Two-wheeled man-pulled wagon from Quartermaster Museum Ctsy Larry Pieniazek

While the pay and allowances of a soldier remain the same in all parts of the country, the cost of his maintenance in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, is two and three times as great as on the Kansas and Nebraska frontier.

The military stores were usually purchased from the large markets. Clothing, blankets and other quartermaster supplies were purchased in the East, or on the Pacific coast, and then were shipped to the numerous depots and posts. Large quantities of grain, hay, lumber, wood and commissary supplies were bought from the local markets near the posts, if they could be procured more economically.

Oxen teams

The quartermaster department of the army made all the contracts for transportation. Bids were received for the transportation of 100 pounds of goods over a certain route at a certain rate per 100 miles. The transportation of supplies from the army depots to many of the larger and more permanent posts was more economical and satisfactory when done by contractors than by the use of military trains. The contractors generally used ox teams on the Plains because there was less danger of stampedes from Indians (for the Indians did not care for oxen), and the oxen were better able to subsist on grass alone than mules or horses.

Army mule-pulled wagon

However, when the Army transported goods by wagon, they used mules-a team of either six or four, depending on the weight. The driver rode the near-wheel mule and controlled the team with a single jerk line.

Many military authorities agreed with Gen. John Pope who condemned the practice of making contracts for military stores at a great distance from the posts to be supplied. The objections were that the officers in charge of letting the contract were often unacquainted with the resources, people, manner of doing business, prices, or anything else in the districts to be supplied. They were without experience or knowledge of the peculiar service on the frontier. All these factors resulted in unnecessary and additional expense, and the needs of the service were not satisfactorily met.

Several depots were established on the frontier from which its dependent military posts were supplied. Fort Leavenworth was the great supply depot for the posts on the Plains and along the Missouri river. Fort Riley also served as a supply center for the Department of the Missouri which included Kansas. As the railroad advanced into western Kansas, Fort Hays became a supply center to serve those frontier forts in the region that were not along the rail line.

My hero in both of my Hannah books, Hannah's Handkerchief and Hannah's Highest Regard, became a quartermaster almost by default.

What started it all was the character of Captain Prescott in Kizzie's Kisses, my first novel set in this region. I did not know about quartermasters at the time or the difference between them and the line officers over subsistence (Please CLICK HERE to see last month's post about subsistence). However, as part of the plot, I wrote about the captain being in charge of livestock acquisition. More to the point, he insisted on being able to buy Kizzie's horse.

Capt. Prescott was particularly interested in quality stock born locally because they were already acclimated to frontier weather and conditions. Horses brought in from east of the Mississippi needed about a year to acclimate. Without it, many failed and died early. Kizzie refused to allow it to happen. With the cooperation of my hero in that book, Kizzie's mare was bred to produce horses for the Army.

You may read the book description for Kizzie's Kisses by CLICKING HERE.

However, I chose to open Hannah's Handkerchief with the scene of the Ft. Riley 1865 dance to celebrate the end of the Civil War-the same scene at the end of Kizzie's Kisses, but from the point of view of Kizzie's cousin, Hannah. From there, the course of Hannah's story was set to include the frontier military. The link between the Atwell families and Capt. and Mrs. Prescott was already established. Who better for my love interest for Hannah than a young lieutenant, an assistant quartermaster to the captain? Shortly after the dance, he is sent to the Kansas frontier to help set up the five frontier forts established there between 1864 and 1869. Eventually, each received their own quartermaster. Although I don't know what happened in real history, I wrote my story as though, while in the early planning and construction stages, these newer forts fell under Capt. Prescott's supervision.

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 24th, please join me and the other authors who blog for Cowboy Kisses as we hold our fifth annual Fall Round-up. I’ll be sharing more about my latest books at that time.



O’Harrow, Robert Jr.; The Quartermaster: Montgomery C. Meigs, Lincoln’s General, Master Builder of the Union Army. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, New York, NY: 2016


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Halloween is nearly here and, having regaled you in the past with haunted hotels and spooky sites, I thought I would just entertain you with a pertinent excerpt from one of my latest books, Always on My Mind.  Since it covers over four years from 1972 and, in more detail, nine months from May, 1972, Halloween was bound to pop up at some stage—and it does.  But first, here’s the blurb:


1972 - Vietnam, the pill, upheaval, hippies.
Wyoming rancher Cooper Byrnes, deeply attached to the land and his way of life, surprises everyone when he falls for vagabond hippie Cassie Halliday. Fascinated and baffled, he cannot comprehend his attraction—or say the words she wants to hear.
Cassie finds Coop intriguingly different. As she keeps house for him and warms his bed at night, she admits to herself she loves him but she misinterprets Coop's inability to express his feelings.
Parted, each continues to think of the other, but how can either of them reach out to say, "You were 'always on my mind'?"


And now, as the housekeeper Mrs. Craven walks in on my heroine, Cassie:


Mrs. Craven found her in the kitchen, carving her third jack o’ lantern.

“If those are for Halloween, you may as well stop right there. Cooper Byrnes will never let a bunch of kids come marching up to his door, never has, never will. Just like his daddy before him.”

“Why not?” She held the knife in mid-air but soon continued to slash out triangle eyes.

“Why not? Why not? Good heavens, girl, you been living with the man these near on six months, pretending you’re sleeping alone in the guest room, and you stand there thinking he celebrates Halloween?”

“He doesn’t have to celebrate Halloween. I do.”

“Well, there ain’t nobody gonna come up your drive to the house, jump out, say trick or treat, grab candies and go off again on their merry way. That much I can tell you.”

“Because it’s too far or because of Coop?” He isn’t that scary!

Mrs. Craven heaved a sigh and leaned back against the worktop watching Cassie push out the nose. “A little of both, I reckon. Some of the parents around here drive the kids about but they all know Coop is single and doesn’t do nothing for them so there’s no real reason to come on up.”

She attempted to think of a way to say Cooper was no longer single, but it appeared as far as anyone else was concerned, she didn’t count. “Well, maybe I’ll make a sign with an arrow on the road by the gate.”

“You’d do better to please him by maybe selling those lanterns. Put one out on a crate by the gate with a sign saying lanterns for sale. That’s what I’d do.”

Cassie looked up and smiled. “Good idea. Maybe it is too much to expect trick-or-treaters to come all this way up to the house.”

“I’d say.” Mrs. Craven put a hand to her hip and watched her for a few moments before grabbing a dishtowel and wiping some plates in the rack. “You are a weird couple, you with your cooking and gardening and college degree, wearing your heart on your sleeve—”

“I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve.”

“No, everything is written all over your face. You’re like some great big puppy wagging its tail and trying to get a morsel from that man, and he’s about as giving as a headstone on a grave.”

She snorted a laugh. “Well. I’m beginning to understand him better after all this time. We have a working relationship.”

“Yeah, but, you at your age, you want a little lovin’, a little more than a ‘working relationship.’ And Cooper being the product of two of the most tight-lipped, harsh, cold-blooded parents there could be, he’s not ever gonna change.”

Cassie held the finished pumpkin out to admire, tried to seem disinterested. “What were—I guess are, as his mother’s still alive, isn’t she?—what are they like? Did you know them well?”

“Well, I guess I knew them about as well as anyone here about; worked for them twenty years or so. His daddy was all right with me and others but one of these hard-bitten men, thought ‘his way or the highway’ all the time, tried to instill in Cooper a sense of the value of the ranch—oh, not in money terms ya know, but as his inheritance, land. Land and cattle, that’s all that man knew. I never saw him once praise the boy, even when he came in with trophies from 4H or FFA. Then Coop won a scholarship to go on to agricultural college and Byrnes nixed that; told him he was learning everything he needed to know right here.”

Cassie placed the pumpkin on the kitchen table where the assorted group had different faces. She stood back and admired her handiwork, one with a huge smile and round eyes, another looking positively evil, the third with a lopsided grin. She took up another, pulled a clean bowl over for the pulp and seeds, and started cutting the lid. “What is his mother like, then?”

“Oh, mean bitch. You haven’t met her yet?”

“No. Coop goes over to his sister’s on his own.”

“Well, then he’s protecting you from her I’d say. How the sister turned out so sweet and good is beyond me. ’Course, she did go and get herself hitched real young, got away from her daddy and mama quick as she could. Then she goes and takes her mother in. Beyond me. But you want to stay well away from that one, his mother. I don’t know if Byrnes changed her with his lack of love or she was always that way, but she was worse than he was. Heartless is what she is.”

“Well.” She struggled to get the knife around, her hand now aching. “I guess I never will—”

The door banged open and Coop marched in, a smile on his face, which vanished when he spotted the pumpkin lanterns. “What are you doing? You said those dang pumpkins were for pies to sell.”

She stood, the knife poised in her hand as she studied him. “Well, I had more than enough pumpkin for pies and there’s no point in wasting the remaining shells. I thought I could sell the jack o’ lanterns as well. Maybe put them on a crate by the road or something?”

“Hmm.” Coop stood there, his mouth puckered in thought. “I guess that’ll be all right.” He sauntered off to a small room by the kitchen he called his office.

She exchanged glances with Mrs. Craven, each getting on with their chores when Cooper reappeared, two rifles in his arms.

She stood back and looked at them. “Where . . .where are you going with those?”

“Hunting, of course. Dusty and I—”

Cassie grimaced. “Who’s Dusty?”

“Oh, Cassie. You know Dusty. The older puncher who works here. Jeez, how long you been livin’ here?”

“So, what are you hunting?”

Mrs. Craven coughed.

“I’m hunting my dinner, of course, just like the cave men,” Coop snarled. “You got a problem with that?”

“You’re going to kill things?”

Coop glanced over at the finished pumpkins and for a terrible moment, she thought he was going to bring the rifles down on them. 

He switched back to her. “Listen to me,” he said in a low, steady voice. “If I don’t hunt, that wildlife eats my cattle’s feed, grazes my cattle’s land, drinks my cattle’s water. I don’t kill anything that don’t need killing here. You have a coyote in the hen house, you think you just let him be? This is the way it is on a ranch: the land and the cattle come first. Always have, always will, and no little city girl is gonna tell me how to live. You got that?”

She blinked back tears and took the knife to her pumpkin with renewed vigor.



Always on My Mind is available in both eBook and paperback from: