Tuesday, December 28, 2021

It's that time of year....


I know, it’s hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone. Looking forward to the end of this week, we have a chance to begin again. Saturday, we will celebrate the beginning of a new year – 2022. It seems so odd to me having lived through each New Year since 1956.

In my day, ( snort I guess at 65 I can say this now) my parents watched Guy Lombardo on the twelve inch black and white box in the living room. They would have snacks and talk about the years events. I never made it past nine o’clock in those early years. But, I do remember the mystic about staying up to ‘ring in’ the new year.

As the years progressed, I stayed up with my mother to watch the ball drop. After marriage, we went either to my sister-in-law’s house or she came to ours. We’d watch Dick Clark and wonder how he didn’t age, then kiss our spouses at the clock chimed and wished each other a prosperous and happy New Year.

This year, most of our families have passed away. Our children are scattered, and it made me think about those early pioneering families. They weren’t as lucky as we are today. There were no late night phone calls or even video chats. Letters and telegrams could take up to a month to reach their destination. The thought of hitching up a horse, riding into town to visit others was probably out of the question unless you lived in the town limits. So how did people celebrate???

Churches were the center of activity for our pioneer ancestors. They would often hold “night watches”. Where the young folks would get together and to usher the New Year in with a prayer. Even back then, they made resolutions – the young men were often made to give up drink. I’m sure that lasted about as long as giving up sweets do today. At midnight the bells would ring to let the community know the New Year has arrived.

The idea of celebrating the new year comes from Roman mythology. Janus ( notice the hint to January ) was said to have two faces – one looking back, the other looking forward. Which gives us the reason for recapping the year and making promises to do better as the calendar changes.

So, what are your hopes in the New Year???

Mine is to be more organized. I’m trying a new planner in the hopes of not forgetting blogs, book releases, and when to purchase hay or feed before it runs out and I make the mad scramble.

As I look back, I want to thank the enthusiastic readers I have met through Cowboy Kisses. I owe a lot to each and everyone of you as well as to Julie Lence, who organizes this great community.

My wish for each and every one of you is, to do what makes you happy. Find your passion and let it carry you through those tough times when you feel like all you do is stumble.





Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Puzzle and a Funny by Zina Abbott


Who has time or the inclination to write an involved, well-researched post on the day before Christmas? 

Not me. 

I’m already  "Christmas Crazy” and sure I’ll forget something vital that needs to be done by tomorrow. That is why my post will consist of a puzzle and a funny – something to give you a break from the stress of the season.

First, the puzzle. I love the “atmosphere” of this photo. I hope you enjoy working it:


Second, the funny. I don’t know how long I’ve had this saved or from where I got it. It tickled my funny bone again, so here it is:


Clyde, I don't think the kids are going to buy it.


Merry Christmas!


If you are looking for some sweet Christmas romances to read over the next week, here are my two I wrote this year:


My An Impostor for Christmas book, Mail Order Letitia, is available in print, as an ebook, and at no additional cost with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. To find the book description and link,

 please CLICK HERE.




My Old Timey Holiday Kitchen romance,

Figgy Pudding by Francine

is now available as a print book, an ebook, and free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.



Tuesday, December 21, 2021

KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE By Kathleen Lawless @Kathleenlawless


           Mrs. B bustled in carrying a bowl full of punch.  “Look at you two under the mistletoe.”

          Noelle looked up in dismay.  Grant’s lips quirked in amusement.  “So we are.  Merry Christmas, my dear.”  He placed a finger under her chin and held it still for his kiss.  “May tonight mark the first of many joyous celebrations.”  His lips settled over hers, warm and full and sweetly familiar.  She started to melt into his embrace, parted her lips slightly, ready for more, when the door knocker banged loudly. 

          Grant pulled back, and stroked her full bottom lip with the tip of his finger.  “We’ll get back to this later.”  And tucking her arm through his, he flung open the door to admit the first of their guests.  From Mail Order Noellehttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GNYZD23

          Mistletoe history dates back thousands of years as a healing herb and romantic overtones likely began with the Celtic Druids.  Because mistletoe blossomed even during the frozen winter, Druids administered it to humans and animals in hopes of restoring fertility.  This association continued through the Middle Ages, and by the 18th century was incorporated into Christmas celebrations where the kissing tradition first caught on among the servants before spreading to the middle class.  Men were allowed to steal a kiss from any woman standing beneath it.  To refuse was considered bad luck.

          I particularly like the tradition where the kissing couple is to pluck a single berry from the mistletoe with each kiss, and stop once the berries are all gone.  I haven’t used that yet in a Christmas romance, but as you can see from the above excerpt, mistletoe is a useful prop. especially if either of the smitten couple is shy about making the first move. 

Mail Order Noelle is part of the Impostor for Christmas series.  You can see the series here.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KRGTCZX

USA Today Bestselling author Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her many alpha male heroes.   

Her hero, Steele, in HER UNDERCOVER COWBOY, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was wooed by a man called Steel— while he’s not a cowboy, he is an alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Newsletter to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1



Monday, December 20, 2021

Going Out with a Poof! by Paty Jager

December is a month of anticipation. To see what if Santa thought you were a good girl or boy and you receive a good present, and it is the last month of the year. which brings on the anticipation of what the new year will hold.

For me, the new year will bring me hopefully a respite from one thing that the past year has crept up on me and I felt I didn't give it enough of my time. That is my every other month post to this blog. And for that reason, this is the last time I will be posting on this blog. 

My writing life has moved from romance to murder mysteries. And while they are set in the west and my characters live rural, they don't really fit into the romance category or the term "Cowboy Kisses." Because of that and I can never think of anything to write here, I am bowing out to pursue more time for my own blogs, Writing into the Sunset and Ladies of Mystery.

 My 8th book in the Gabriel Hawke police procedural series, Churlish Badger, published last month. This is what a reviewer had to say:

I loved her comparing my character's struggles in unraveling the truth to a tangle of yarn. It seemed fitting this time of year. 

Speaking of this time of year. I do a lot of baking and one of my favorite things to make is gingerbread cookies. This year I decided to switch things up and instead of decorating the cookies to look like family members, I'm going to turn the cookies upside down and make them into reindeer.  I saw a photo on Facebook and knew I had to do that this year. 

Here is my Gingerbread Cookie Recipe:

These are the same recipe. Just not gingerbread men. 

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground allspice

½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

2 TBSP orange zest

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup molasses

2 eggs

Place flour cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking soda, allspice, crystallized ginger, and orange zest in a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside, Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs until well blended. Beat in flour mixture at low-speed until well blended. Divide dough into 3 equal portions; cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease large cookie sheets; set aside. Wo4rking with 1 portion at a time, roll out dough on lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out dough with 3-inch cookie cutters. (my gingerbread cutters are more like 4 inches) Place cookie on prepared cookie sheets, leaving room for expansion. Bake 10 minutes or until bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. Let stand on cookie sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks and cool completely. Once they are cool, you can frost and decorate them.

If you like to listen to audiobooks, for the month of December I have Yuletide Slayings, book 6 in the Shandra Higheable mystery series on sale for half price at Authors Direct. At this sight you'll also find other holiday audiobooks on sale and some are free: https://shop.authors-direct.com/collections/holiday-2021

I wish you all the merriest of Christmases and a Happy Healthy New Year. See you around social media! 

Thursday, December 16, 2021



The image of the 1800’s American cowboy isn’t typically thought of having an African American ethnic background. Recently I stumbled across a few tidbits of historical information on black cowboys and the important role these men played in the Wild West. I was bothered by the lack of images of these men in our history books, movies, and lack of attention placed on this part of our American story.

Black cowboys worked on ranches, handled cattle, tamed horses, and encountered outlaws. There were approximately 5,000 to 8,000 black cowboys in the Wild West that were part of the legendary cattle drives of the 1800’s.

Many were born into slavery and after emancipation continued to work on ranches. Thousands rode the cattle trails heading to the north.

They had to face bigotry, however, some found that they experienced less discrimination on the open range. Cowboys depended on each other regardless of their ethnic background.

I listed some of the famous African
American men who made a name for themselves as cowboys in the 1800’s.

Bill Pickett – Born in 1870 near Taylor, Pickett was one of 13 children. He worked as a ranch hand at a young age and went on to be a successful cowboy. He invented “bulldogging,” and became a star at Wild West shows. Pickett died in 1932. In 1971, he became the first African American inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Nat Love – Born a slave on a Tennessee plantation in 1854, Love eventually became a cowboy in Dodge City and the Texas Panhandle. He possessed excellent horse riding and shooting skills. In 1876, after winning several contests at a rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota, he was given the nickname “Deadwood Dick.” In 1907, he wrote an autobiography titled, “Life and Adventures of Nat Love.” He died in 1921.

Bose Ikard – Born a slave in Mississippi in 1847, Ikard was brought to Texas when he was five. Growing up, he learned to rope and ride. He later rode with well-known cattlemen like Charles Goodnight and John Chisum. Ikard inspired the character portrayed by Danny Glover in Lonesome Dove. He died in 1829.

Addison Jones – Uncertainty surrounds Jones’ exact birthplace and birth date, but he was born around 1845 in Gonzales or Hays County. An experienced range boss, he was skilled at roping and breaking horses, and was described as “the most noted Negro cowboy that ever ‘topped off’ a horse.” He died in 1926.

Today, black cowboys and cowgirls continue the western tradition as ranch owners and workers, preserving a way of life in American history. This is only the tip of a long, rich tapestry of history, so I encourage you to find more information on this seldom talked of part of history.

See you next month,


Note: I was unable to find a picture of Addison Jones.




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