Saturday, May 28, 2022

Oklahoma Land Runs-an Overview by Zina Abbott


Full disclosure. This was originally published in my own blog earlier this week. I first intended it for my newsletter. Then, realizing many newsletter readers are not necessarily interested in behind-the-scenes details, I wrote my blog post and added a link. I'm now in a time crunch to finish my latest book. Therefore, I'm resharing my post which provides background about the setting of the new Mail Run Mail Order Brides series, available soon.

Here is a little slice of history to give readers a feel about the Oklahoma Land Runs.

Land distributions in former Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma, took place between 1889 and 1906—late in what many consider the American Wild West era. However, this region was still wild and primitive compared to living conditions in much of the East.

Although I’m barely skimming the topic (My apologies to you native Oklahomans who were probably immersed in your state’s history throughout your elementary and high school years and know so much more.), Oklahoma was originally designated as Indian Territory. The United States government, when they wanted tribal land elsewhere, often “bought” the land, offered for compensation promised items and assistance, which almost always it did not deliver in full, and shoved the tribal people onto reservations in Indian Territory. The land given these tribes was in size a fraction of what they formerly claimed. It started with the Five Civilized Tribes moved into eastern Indian Territory. As the land of other tribes was acquired so it could be opened to white settlement, new reservations were carved out of Indian Territory for the displaced tribes.

1881 Indian Territory

After decades of white Americans with their large families and their sense of entitlement spreading over the continental United States claiming 160 acre—quarter section—homesteads, the country ran out of large tracts of land it could open for settlement. Much of the reservation land in the north that the Plains tribes and others were forced onto was not good for farming.

Land-hungry white Americans, caught up in the Populist movement of the day that sought to elevate the status of farmers, looked to Indian Territory. There, the land was owned in common by tribes. However, per capita, heads of households had use of far more acreage than the 160 acres allotted a homesteading white head of household. Much of Indian Territory land was good only for ranching, but there were large areas that were arable—good for farming. 

Considering the degree of fraud that existed in government (no comment about level of fraud that might exist in government today), the inevitable happened.  Indian censuses were taken, land was divided into 160 acre allotments, and heads of Native households were given their choice of parcels. Many did not choose. Most Native Americans at that time still did not understand or accept the concept of private land ownership. Therefore, government agents chose for them. After that, the fraudsters and scheming land speculators moved in and swindled away from the Native owners as many of those parcels as possible.

Oklahoma City a few months after the 1889 Land Run

 As for the rest of the land to which the government now claimed title, it was made available to homesteaders and town developers of any race—for a price. 

The opportunity to claim land was decided by land runs. On a certain date and time, prospective land owners were turned loose to “run” and claim a quarter section or town lot. Claimants literally ran on foot, or they rode horses or bicycles, drove wagons—many of them covered wagons which were considered relics of a bygone era, but they were resurrected for the land runs—or rode the trains. In some runs, the hopeful claimants stood in lines for days, just for the opportunity to get a certificate—for a fee—giving them permission to participate. In these land runs, several people were killed, either by accident or by being deliberately shot. Others were forced off parcels at gunpoint. Some were burned to death by those who set fires to drive them off. Many—about two-thirds in the 1893 run alone—were unsuccessful in finding an available parcel to claim.

Indian and Oklahoma Territories 1892

There were five land runs between 1889 and 1895. The two biggest ones were in 1889 and 1893. Each land run has a history of its own. After the last land run in 1895, the government officials in charge finally wised up and realized assigning parcels by means of free-for-all land runs was not the best way to distribute land. What little open settlement territory that remained was distributed by lottery or sealed bid.

The land runs that took place between 1889 and 1895 are the settings for the romances in the 

Land Run Mail Order Brides 

series, of which my book, Joshua’s Bride, is a part.


Joshua’sBride is the first book in the series. It is currently on pre-order and releases June 3, 2022. To find the book link, please CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Editing…A Necessary Evil! ~ Lorraine Nelson


Today's emphasis, as the title suggests, is about editing. I know, I know. You've written your book. You've edited it yourself. You might even have had a few friends suggest changes or comment on how well it's done. However, none of this takes the place of professional editing.

You look forward to publishing your book and building a reader base. Right? You might even be wondering how you're going to compete with all the other books and authors out there. Well then, you need to edit, proofread, and edit again and again until you get it right. Guaranteed that if I purchase a book riddled with grammar issues and/or typos and such, I will not buy that author's work again and I will not leave a review anywhere. Many books I’ve read have great characters and plot lines but poor grammar can leave you feeling cheated and, in most cases, I feel sorry for the author. Yet, I hate to think of the ridicule they face when those mistakes are pointed out to them publicly (And yes, there are reviewers who will leave derogatory remarks on your book page.) One or two typos I can handle, but consistent errors pull me right out of the story line. I just cannot turn off my inner editor. 😊

Authors, be proud of your work. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it a good one by releasing the best product you can possibly deliver. If your English (or whatever language you write in) is not up to par, hire somebody else to give it a go. In the end, it’s well worth it.

With today's self-publishing industry, everyone can make their dreams come true, but make sure your book is as perfect as you can make it. You have a story to share and the words with which to tell it.

Don't let grammar mistakes and typos hold you back from the bestseller list. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I’m willing to edit one chapter free for one of the commenters on this post.

Please feel free to post questions or comments and I’ll do my best to answer.


Thursday, May 19, 2022



Behind the amicable façade is a man who’s tough and determined. He’s Mateo’s Blood Brother.




They were friends, close as brothers. Then they weren’t.

Mateo and Jesse are cautiously working their way back to friendship when Jesse discovers the unthinkable. Delilah (also known as Layla), the sultry shifter who’d had affairs with both men, is still alive. The tumble she took over a mountain ridge—a fall that nearly killed Mateo—should have finished her.

Now, there’s no choice but for the two men to work together to take down a she-devil straight from hell.  As the stakes escalate and the hunt becomes more intense, another wolf appears on the scene. Always where Jesse’s at. Always when he’s in trouble.  Jesse is divided between ending Delilah, a new love interest, discovering the identity of a certain brown wolf and staying alive.



A shadow fell across the desk. Unexpected. Eerie in the predawn gloom.

Nerves thrumming, Sheriff Mateo Grey’s head shot up and he reached for his gun.

A lanky man in jeans and a tan uniform-shirt, with coal-black hair pulled back in a tail, leaned against the doorframe of Mateo’s office. A shield attached to his brown leather belt. The scent of fresh air and earthy musk followed him in. He moseyed over and dropped boneless into the hard, wooden chair, in front of the desk.

“What the hell, Jesse?  You sneak around like a—”


“Cat was what I was about to say. Don’t try to snag me with political incorrectness.” Mateo shook himself, leaned back in his worn office chair and drilled the Chief of Police of the Blackfeet Nation with a hard stare. 

Jesse snorted and handed him a paper cup, with Belle’s Beans printed on the side, then took a sip of his own. Not a drop had spilled when he collapsed into the chair, reminding Mateo of the man’s innate feline grace.

“Thanks.” Fragrant steam rose from the opening, the cup warm against Mateo’s hand. His tight jaws relaxed. Belle served the best coffee in the county.

He took a long swallow. The caffeinated liquid rolled down his throat, hit his belly and kick-started him into hyperdrive.

“Okay, Jesse, hit me.”

Tight lips set in a lean face twitched. “I’ve been wanting to for months.”

“Years more like.” Mateo flashed a grin.

Growing up, the men had been close as brothers. Best friends. Blood brothers. Then they weren’t. His fault.

Cautious and slow, they were working their way back to friendship.

Jesse grinned back, nodding in acknowledgement.

“Surprised to see you here. What can I do for you?” He and Jesse had a contentious relationship and even though they were moiling their way toward a more even footing, they weren’t there yet.

“What makes you think I want anything?”

“You know the old saying, beware law enforcement officers bearing gifts.”

“At least I didn’t bring donuts.”

Mateo gave a crack of laughter and, just like that, the lingering tension of a moment before broke.

“Where is everyone?” Jesse peered through the open doorway, a long gash on the worn, stained frame, left by a previous, unhappy visitor.

“It’s not seven yet. Nobody here but me and the dispatcher. But they’ll be streaming in any minute.” He pointed at the large-faced, black-rimmed, round clock that adorned the plain white walls of his office.

“How’s Blair?”

The question sidetracked Mateo as no doubt it was meant to, as a vision of his fiancĂ©e with tousled hair and covers pulled up to her nose rose in his mind, along with another body part. Having his fiancĂ©e as his chief deputy was both a blessing and a curse.  Stubborn as a mule, she didn’t take kindly to being told what to do. But offsetting that, his chief deputy—his woman—was brave, smart and able to handle herself.  Not to mention sexy as hell.

He squirmed in his chair and got himself back on track.

“She’s fine. Now, what is it you’re not telling me? It’s not like you to beat around the bush.”

Silence built. Tension swelled.

Mateo thrummed his fingers on the desk, waiting. The drumming echoed in the quiet.

Jesse stared over Mateo’s left shoulder as if waiting for divine intervention. None was forthcoming. Finally, he straightened his shoulders and turned his gaze to Mateo. “She’s alive.”


Character Facts:

Jesse and Blair both like to catch the Full Moon Band, that plays hard rock with a native twist, on Wednesday nights at the Blue Coyote. 


Jesse loves Belle’s Beans coffee and bear claws.


Popular with the ladies, he managed to avoid any serious entanglements until Layla/Delilah.


Available at Amazon.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Summer Gardening and EVENTS by Rhonda Lee Carver


Hi, y'all. Do you enjoy gardening? Honestly, I love the end product, but planting, weeding, and watering aren't something I necessarily enjoy. However, I love flowers, plants, being outdoors...

Our flower beds needed sprucing. So, we've been clearing out weeds, laying down barriers, and re-mulching. Fun times here at the C-Ranch. Below is the delivery we received yesterday. Look at all that mulch! Thankfully, once this is finished, it's just a matter of upkeep.

Have you started planting yet?

Have you read All Cowboy and Pure Country (Book 4, The Brothers of Dove Grey)

FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Gianna Mosley has it all. As a top influencer engaged to a baseball star, Sunny Banks, what more could she want?

A faithful fiancé?

Her assistant announces on a radio talk show that she and Sunny are having an affair and they’re in love, and Gianna’s world comes crashing down. The media has a field day with the scandal and fans blame her. Fast forward six months, she’s moved on from Sunny, but when she reads that he’s engaged to her ex-assistant, Gianna can’t help but feel a slap in her face.

Carter Dawson is celebrating his birthday over a couple of drinks and chicken wings at the local honky-tonk when he thinks it’d be funny to text his old friend and ask her to marry him. After all, when they were kids, they’d made a pact that if they were still single at thirty, they’d marry each other. When he wakes up the next morning with a fiancĂ©e, the joke is no longer funny. His name is plastered all over social media as the new Mr. Mosley. 
What the hell?

She went about things a bit cockeyed. Now she’s fake engaged and needs to plan a staged break-up. However, she and Carter both warm up to the idea that a pretend relationship is more fun than the reality of being alone.

Love ain’t so bad either.

Both have some dragons to slay. Gianna hasn’t trusted anyone since her ex cheated. And Carter can’t live in the shadow of her past relationship. Will love triumph? Or are they doomed?

I want to invite each and every one of you to a LIVE Q&A. 
When: May 26, 2022 @ 6 P.M.
WE will be answering readers' questions and giving away prizes! You don't want to mis this event!

At an early age, Rhonda fell in love with romance novels, knowing one day she’d write her own love story. Life took a short detour, but when the story ideas were no longer contained, she decided to dive in and write. Her first plot was on a dirty napkin she found buried in her car. Eventually, she ran out of napkins. With baby on one hip and laptop on the other, she made a dream into reality—one word at a time. 

Her specialty is men who love to get their hands dirty and women who are smart, strong and flawed. She loves writing about the everyday hero. 

When Rhonda isn't crafting sizzling manuscripts, you will find her busy editing novels, blogging, juggling kids and animals (too many to name), dreaming of a beach house and keeping romance alive. Oh, and drinking lots of coffee to keep up with her hero and heroine.



Connect with Rhonda Lee Carver






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