Monday, June 27, 2022

Forbidden Paths ~ Ruthie L. Manier

Hello Cowboy Kisses! I'm so happy to share my New Release with you; The Clayton Boy series, Book 1!   

People change with each passing day. With that being said, I believe true love and affection last forever. However, love can change directions and for this couple in FORBIDDEN PATH’S turn into more then they could ever have hoped for. 

 Hunter Clayton and Memphis Moore, nicknamed Mischief by Hunter, had a big brother little sister relationship when he was a young wanted outlaw on the run, and she was not quite a teen. To Mischief Hunter was her hero. He saved her from the vicious gang that murdered her parents in cold blood. He was all the family she had left. 

 To Hunter she was a girl who had been traumatized while witnessing her parents as they were murdered.. He vowed to keep her safe from that day forward. She became family during that dark time in both of their lives. 

 Close to a year had gone by from when they had hit the trail together dodging the law because Hunter was a wanted man for a crime he didn’t commit, when Mischief was shot in a crossfire. Hunter was furious and realized then and there that she’d be better off with a good family in town. He left her in Mount Vernon Washington. 

Ten year’s later their paths cross again and their relationship blossom’s into something entirely different. 

This new release is LIVE! Buy today or read for free on KU discounted for a limited time only.  

Here’s more exciting news! In celebration of my new release above and our Independence Day Celebration coming next week on the 4th of JULY, I am giving JESSE #1 of The Chasing Time series for FREE: July 1 - through July 3rd 2022! If you haven’t read The Chasing Time series, this is a great time to start! 

Be Safe and Enjoy INDEPENDENCE DAY! 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Formation of Oklahoma Territory by Zina Abbott


The formation of Oklahoma Territory came about almost opposite of how most of the other territories in the United States were formed. Usually, starting at the end of the Revolutionary War, the nation acquired large tracts of land through some form of purchase agreement or other acquisition. An example is the Northwest Territory formed by the Ordinance of 1781, officially titled "An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio."


These large land acquisitions were later broken down into smaller territories until population and other factors led to individual territories being organized into states. By looking at the above map of the Northwest Territory, it is possible to see the states that were formed from it.

Original Five Civilized Tribes Territory

Not so Oklahoma Territory. Originally part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, in 1830, it was set aside as Indian Territory for the purpose of removing what are known as the Five Civilized Tribes off of their territory east of the Mississippi River to the West. It was to be their land for forever.


1834 map of Indian Country

With the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834, the U.S. Congress set aside land for Native Americans. At the time, that land was unorganized territory that consisted of the federal land "west of the Mississippi and not within the states of Missouri and Louisiana, or the territory of Arkansas..." That lasted until pressure to remove tribes from the Mississippi and Missouri River basins prompted the U.S. government to send several of these tribes to reservations in Indian Territory that originally were assigned to one of the original five tribes.

There was also a push to open the land in Kansas and Nebraska Territories for white settlement. In 1854, the government pressured many tribes to “sell” their land, including, in some cases, reservation land previously granted. Some tribes in both those territories also ended up being given land in Indian Territory. By 1856, the territory had been reduced to approximately the modern-day borders of the state of Oklahoma, except for the Oklahoma Panhandle and Old Greer County.

Next, the American Civil War happened. Although there were notable bands of the Cherokee who fought for the Union, many slave-holding bands of the five original tribes threw their lot in with the Confederacy. Once the war ended, all bets were off as far as treaties promising large tracts of land. In 1866, the U.S. government required new treaties which forced them into land and other concessions. The Five Civilized Tribes were required to emancipate their slaves and offer them full citizenship in the tribes if they wanted to stay in the Nations.


Arrow shows Unassigned Territory-Note reservations added since Civil War

The government also forced the cession of some 2,000,000 acres of land in the center of the Indian Nation Territory—what became known as Unassigned Territory—the first target of those who wanted the land opened to white settlement.

A land run or land rush was an event in which previously restricted land of the United States was opened to homestead on a first-arrival basis. Lands were opened and sold first-come or by bid, or won by lottery, or by means other than a run. The settlers, no matter how the settlers acquired occupancy, purchased the land from the United States Land Office.


There were five land runs in Oklahoma Territory (former Indian reservation land) between 1889 and 1895.

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 on the Unassigned Territory—land held by the U.S. government that has not been assigned to any tribe as a reservation—was the most prominent of the land runs. For over a decade, Boomer groups had been agitating for settlement of this land called “Oklahoma Land” by illegally entering it until escorted out by federal Army troops, tried in Judge Isaac Parker’s court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and ordered to pay a fine. “Oklahoma” is a Choctaw word meaning “red people.” It is derived from the words for people (okla) and red (humma). This white settlement of the unassigned territory became the nucleus of what would become Oklahoma Territory.

During the year between the April 22, 1889—the date of the first land run—and May 2, 1890, the people of what became Oklahoma Territory were semi-autonomous. Federal military troops provided law enforcement since there was no local law enforcement. The United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas under federal judge Isaac Parker was the only form of criminal and civil jurisdictions.

1890 Oklahoma and Indian Territories

On May 2, 1890, Congress passed the Oklahoma Organic Act organizing the western half of Indian Territory into Oklahoma Territory.

Congress included in Oklahoma Territory the strip of country known as “No Man's Land”—what many today refer to as the Oklahoma Panhandle—which became Beaver County. Greer County, which had for years been disputed territory between Texas and Indian Territory was brought into Oklahoma Territory.

The eastern half of the former Indian Territory remained Indian Territory under Indian rule, mostly the Five Civilized Tribes.

The other land runs involved territory assigned to various tribes for reservations. For former Indian lands, the Land Office distributed the sales funds to the tribal entities, according to previously negotiated terms.

The 1891 Land Run held September 22nd  opened the unassigned plots in the former Iowa, Sac and Fox, Potawatomi, and Shawnee reservation lands.

The Land Run on April 19, 1892 opened settlement on the former Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation lands.

The 1893 Land Run known as the Cherokee Strip run, but in actuality involved all of the Cherokee Outlet land sold by the Cherokee tribe to the U.S. government, was the largest. It was held September 16th.

The opening of the former Kickapoo area held on May 3, 1895 was the last use of a land run in the present area of Oklahoma. It was also the smallest run.


After that, the U.S. government decided land runs were not the most efficient or safest way to distribute land. (Quite a few people in the 1893 land run alone died due to gunshot wounds, being burned to death, heat stroke, and accidents involving animals and wagons or carriages.)

On August 6, 1901 claims for available homesteads on the Wichita-Caddo and Comanche, Kiowa and Apache lands were determined by means of a land lottery. With 2,080,000 acres available, nearly 170,000 people registered at the El Reno and Fort Sill land offices between July 9 and July 28. The 6,500 names first drawn between July 29 and August 5 won the claims.

Between December 3 and 15, 1906, the United States Land Office accepted sealed bids for quarter sections of land in what was called the ‘Big Pasture’ in Oklahoma Territory. It continued until all the quarter sections were sold. Successful bidders were required to live on the land for five years. They could pay in installments during their residency.

When it came time to consider statehood, the tribes in Indian Territory sought to become a separate state from Oklahoma. They believed doing so would give them greater autonomy in managing tribal affairs. However, the U.S. government insisted on combining Oklahoma Territory with Indian Territory. The two together were brought in as the state of Oklahoma on November 16, 1907.



My most recently published book, Joshua’s Bride, is the first book in the Land Run Mail Order Brides series. It is set during the 1893 Land Run in the Cherokee Outlet. It is available as an ebook for purchase or at no additional cost with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. It is also available as a paperback.

To find the book description and purchase options, please CLICK HERE




Wikipedia – Land Run

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Hunks & Horses Box Set ~ Maggie Carpenter

 Hello Cowboy Kisses:

Take a look at my newly released box set; 4 of your favorites novels all in one place!  

TO KISS A COWBOY: When wealthy heiress Connie Masters discovers her fianc√© has been cheating she immediately calls off the wedding. Finding herself confused and conflicted, she turns to her handsome barn manager for support and advice.

Caleb King has been attracted to the blue-eyed, strong-willed beauty from the moment they met. When she unexpectedly shows up at his cabin in tears he comforts her, and the embers of their smoldering attraction quickly flame to life.

But Connies former fiancé has an evil scheme to steal her money and ruin her life, and just as he sets it into motion, Caleb has a bizarre encounter with a mysterious mountain lion.

Is the sudden appearance of the big cat a coincidence?


TO CATCH A COWBOY: Can a girl from the city find love in the arms of a country cowboy?

Horse trainer Josh Brady has noticed a chocolate-eyed beauty in a leather jacket sitting the bleachers watching him teach. When they finally meet he discovers her name is Theresa, shes from the inner city, and has a sassy tongue and an attitude to match. In spite of her tough exterior, he warns her to be careful.

A villain has been terrorizing the women in the small community. When she learns one of the detectives believes Josh is the guilty party, shes determined to clear his name and throws herself into the middle of the dangerous operation.

Can Josh stop her before she becomes the next victim?

TO CON A COWBOY: Is she conning the country music superstar, or is he the one pulling the strings?

Wannabe author Amber Scott has just been hired by superstar Brett Preston to help him write his memoirs. But Amber has been sent by someone with a hidden agenda. After being swept away by his dark, decadent passion, he tells her partners in crime she won't go through with their wicked scheme. But they box her into an impossible corner. 

Suffering through life-changing challenges, Brett found strength and guidance from Native American wisdom and hopes it will help him through the days ahead. Hiring the beautiful, blue-eyed blonde is a roll of the dice--the scariest hes ever taken.  When he confesses his secret, she’ll either make him deliriously happy, or he’ll be devastated.

If she confesses, she could lose him.  If she doesn't, he could lose everything.

But how will she react when he admits what he’s done?


TO TRUST A COWBOY: Natalie Beaumont is speechless.  Handsome cowboy Dylan Clark has just threatened to put her over his knee.

Thrown together at the annual Western Championships, Dylan is determined to find out why the feisty young woman continues to reject him after sharing a heart -stopping kiss the year before.

But his need to know suddenly takes a back seat when an odd series of mishaps almost prevents her from competing. When he uncovers the man behind the chaos and his nefarious scheme, Dylan orders Natalie to steer clear while he deals with it.

But Natalie has a mind of her own.


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A Writer’s Angst ~ Lorraine Nelson

 Hi, ya’ll! Just wanted to fill you in a little on my writing journey. This is the story about my path to publication. I suffered writer’s angst in spades!

Angst: a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general. In my case, it was the state of my mind in general. lol

Although I’d always written short stories and poems from grade school on, it wasn’t until I’d had my left thumb amputated that I considered writing a novel. You see, after it healed, I had to get the flexibility back in that hand and was soon bored with typing tests and the like. So, I started writing in earnest, not having any idea if I could write an entire novel or where it would end up. I finished writing my first novel of romance, Love on the Rocks, in March, 2009. Four weeks later, I had it tweaked and polished to the best of my ability and began the submission process.  All told, I wrote four novels and a novella in 2009.  I also started two other novels and wrote a selection of shorts to enter for challenges and so on.

Rave reviews were received on a regular basis as friends, family and acquaintances read my work, but I could not garner the attention of an editor. 

In November, 2009, I joined my first NaNoWriMo, easily producing and editing (although I wasn’t supposed to, as I found out later) 100,684 words on three separate novels during that one month. I loved being immersed in my characters, having the words flow freely and enjoying the sense of accomplishment. Yes! I was finally living my dream of writing full-time.

One of the novels I wrote that November was Zakia & the Cowboy, a romantic suspense…the first in my Thunder Creek Ranch series.  I thought of it as my best work to date and was really proud of it…until I received a form R for my efforts. Still, I thought it needed a home so I entered it in a couple of contests.  Nada!  Zip!  Nothing!

Putting on a pity party is not my style and so it was that I started researching epublishers.  I sent eight submissions in 3 days, Feb 25th, 26th and 27th.

In March, 2010, almost a full year after I wrote my first romance I realized all the form R’s I’d received had not prepared me for the angst I’d suffer when an editor actually took an interest in one of my manuscripts. 

My first two requests for full manuscripts came in on February 28th, 2010. That’s right…after ten months of submitting manuscripts and receiving rejections my very first request was followed almost immediately by a second that same day.  Shortly after that, I got a request for a partial from another editor. All for the same book!

At that time, I had no idea if any of those would lead to a sale but I kept my fingers crossed. In the meantime, butterflies had taken wing in my belly and sleep was difficult to come by. Concentration on writing and other tasks had taken a back seat to checking my emails and worrying if my writing was clear enough.  Is my voice one they’ll enjoy?  Are my characters/conflict strong enough?  Too strong?

The writing life is certainly a tough one and a continual learning experience.  I’ve learned so much from other authors, published and non-published, as well as workshops on eHarlequin and by writing almost non-stop. I now have over 30 titles available on Amazon and elsewhere.

I don’t know if any of this has helped anyone, but it feels good to be sharing with you.  Please take a moment or two to share your comments and experiences so we can learn from each other. 

Until next time, Lorraine Nelson

You can find information on my books in the following places:

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

When is a Cowboy not a Cowboy? By Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless

Merriam Webster defines ‘cowboy’ as an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks.

Then I saw this other definition: One having qualities (such as recklessness, aggressiveness, or independence) popularly associated with cowboys.

Lightbulb Moment!

Thus inspired, I created Blaze, a dare devil stuntman who wears leather chaps and rides a Harley instead of a horse.  And like any cowboy who loses his ability to rope and ride due to an accident, Blaze has to reinvent himself after a failed stunt nearly kills him. Which is when we meet him.


“You’re early.”  Kaitlin opened the door to see a man clad in dusty, formfitting leather, his shaggy caramel-colored hair badly in need of a trim.  She stepped back a pace.  “Come on in. Let’s see what you look like under all that road dust.’’

The stranger stepped past her and into the front hall. “You must be Kaitlin. Steve said—’’

“My brother knows I can’t resist a challenge.’’ Kaitlin circled the man, eyes narrowed as she inspected him from all angles. Actually, in the right clothes, this one should clean up quite nicely. And he did possess a certain undeniable something.

“One good thing. We should be able to fit you off the rack. There’s no time to wait for custom tailoring.” Broad shoulders tapered to lean hips, which were hugged by a modern-day version of cowboy chaps in supple-looking black leather.

“But those chaps. The look is all wrong unless you’re auditioning for a cowboy commercial.” The garment in question sheathed him like an intimate glove, up over snakeskin boots to hug an impossibly long length of leg, before ending in a V of faded denim below his belt. The scrap of exposed denim was the exact same shade as his eyes.  Realizing where her gaze lingered, she looked away and hoped she wasn’t blushing.

He rocked back on his heels and crossed his arms over his impressive chest.  One side of his mouth quirked up in an endearing half-smile.  “I wasn’t expecting an audition.”

Dead silence hung between them and Kaitlin felt herself flush.  Weren’t people supposed to outgrow adolescent blushing?  Apparently not her. Even her ears were burning. “Somehow, I get the feeling you’re not my brother’s friend/wannabe model I was expecting.”

“Is that what he told you?”  The newcomer braced one shoulder against the doorframe as if he had every right to be there, thumbs hooked in the pockets of his jacket. His half-smile turned into the real thing.  The change in expression deepened the grooves in his cheeks and gave him a lazy look that matched his careless pose.

His smile was addictive and Kaitlin caught herself starting to smile back. “How about I introduce myself properly? The name’s Blaze.” Lazily his right hand stretched toward her, broad and sun-browned with a faint line of scars visible across the first two knuckles. “I’m your date for the weekend.”


One Fantasy Fall is on sale in the US for only 99cents this week.  Grab your copy here!

Monday, June 20, 2022

America’s first National Monument

 Summer time has arrived!

    Wyoming is well known for many wonderful things. Yellowstone National Park being the main attraction. Sadly Yellowstone is suffering from the recent flooding and will be closed for a while. Devil's Tower is another amazing place to visit. Standing 867 feet from summit to base is quite a sight in the grasslands of the Black Hills of Wyoming.   

   As I was driving to Hulett Wyoming to my friend's quilt shop I passed Devil's Tower. Every time I drive by I find it a fascinating piece of nature and history. I can't imagine what the early settlers and mountain men thought of it when they first saw it.  The first documented encounter with the Tower was in 1875 and it became a National Monument in 1906 and is believed to be over 200 million years old.

   The Native American's have many legends of the tower and other names. Bear's Tipi, Tree Rock, Gray Horn Butte, and the more well known Bear Lodge.  Different variations of how the tower came into existence and how the unusual columns the length of it came to be.  The ledged I remember growing up is the Crow's version.

  "Once when some Crows were camped at "Bear's House," two little girls were playing around some big rocks there. There were lots of bears living around the big rock, and one big bear, seeing the girls alone, was going to eat them. The big bear was just about to catch the girls when they saw him. The girls were scared and the only place they could get was on top of the rocks around which they had been playing.

The girls climbed the rock but still the bear could catch them. The Great Spirit, seeing the bear was about to catch the girls, caused the rock to grow up out of the ground. The bear kept trying to jump to the top of the rock but he just scratched the rock and fell down on the ground. The claw marks are on the rock now. The rock kept growing until it was so high that the bear could not get the girls. The two girls are still on top of the rock."

   Growing up we traveled past the tower often to visit family in Hullet and the sight of the tower always amazed me. As an adult I love the history behind the monument and can only imagine what it might have been like for the pioneers to first come across the it. Making their homestead and sitting on the front porch sewing a quilt as they looked out over the green land and the tower.

   I enjoy the times I travel past Devil's Tower to my friend's quilt shop to do a little bit of sewing.

Witches Stitches in Hullet Wyoming


Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Cook and the Chuck Wagon


One of the most important persons on a cattle drive, if not the most important, was the cook. Often times called Cookie. Sometimes, Coosie   or Soggy. He was paid more than the cowhands but probably not as much as he was worth. The man was banker, barber, dentist, and doctor to the drovers whose private possessions, that didn’t fit in their saddle bags, went into the cook's wagon box.

Among his other duties, he pointed the tongue of the wagon north every evening, so the trail boss knew what direction to head the herd the following morning.

Cookie was up before dawn to have the coffee and breakfast ready when everyone else rolled out. Then after the others finished eating, he had to clean up and head out to get to the next camp site before everyone else so he’d have the evening meal prepared when the herd halted and the crew came in.

The wagon he drove was called a chuck wagon. Charles Goodnight invented it in 1866. On the trail it was usually loaded with flour, coffee, salt pork, beans, potatoes, dried fruit and spices. Some folks credit the name of the chuck wagon for Charles, others for food, chuck being the cowboy term for chow. This wagon had a fold out counter to prepare the food on. A water barrel was stored on the outside.  Dutch ovens, which were used regularly by the cook were stored in the boot.

The cowboys had several rules of etiquette which included not tying horses to the chuck wagon so dust didn’t get in the food and after they ate scraping their plates and putting them in the ‘wrecking pan’. Leaving food on their plates was an insult to the cook.

It’s hard to write about a trail drive without including the cook. Even though a secondary character, Cookie played an important role both in Silverhill’s and the author’s heart.

 In the 1870s Brandon Wade is driving a herd of longhorns over the Chisholm Trail when a youth appears out of nowhere riding a magnificent black stallion and packing a deadly looking six-gun. In need of trail hands, Brandon hires the young man. Not until weeks later, during the middle of a terrible stampede, does Brandon learn that his young sharpshooter is a beautiful woman. A woman full of fire and passion who he burns to possess. A woman steeped in mystery who refuses to disclose her past. Alexandria O'Malley is on the run and must be able to disappear at a moment's notice. When she hires on to the cattle drive, she doesn't expect the powerful attraction between herself and her trail boss or the response of her treacherous body.

Available at Amazon. 


For more cowboy trivia: