Happy Independence Day!

Most of us are happy to have a “day off,” to spend it with family and friends, barbecue, and watch fireworks. But do we take the time to really remember the significance of the holiday. It is to celebrate our freedom from tyranny. How much longer will we enjoy this?

4th of July Fun Facts 

1. The Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4, 1776. That’s actually the day it was formally adopted by the Continental Congress, but it wasn’t signed by most signatories until August

2. American typically eat 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day, “enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times,” according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

3. Three presidents have died on July 4: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe.

4. John Adams believed that American independence should be celebrated on July 2, as that’s the actual day the Continental Congress voted for independence in 1776. 

5. Annoyed that Independence Day wasn’t celebrated on July 2, Adams reportedly turned down invitations to July 4 celebrations throughout his life.

6. Massachusetts became the first state to make the 4th of July an official state holiday in 1781. 

7. President Zachary Taylor died in 1850 after eating spoiled fruit at a July 4 celebration.

8. The famed Macy’s fireworks show in New York City uses more than 75,000 fireworks shells and costs about $6 million. 

9. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is held annually on July 4. In 2018, champion Joey Chestnut ate 74 hot dogs with buns in just 10 minutes.

10. Independence Day became a federal holiday in 1870. 

11. As of 2016, July 4 was the number one holiday for beer sales in the U.S., according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association

12. In 1778, George Washington gave his soldiers a double ration of rum to celebrate the July 4 holiday. 

13. Every July 4, descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence tap the Liberty Bell 13 times in honor of the original 13 colonies.

14. Eating salmon is a July 4 tradition in parts of New England. 

15. Small towns in the U.S. typically spend between $8,000 and $15,000 on their fireworks displays. 

16. President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872. 

17. About 16,000 July 4 fireworks displays happen around the country each year, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association

18. Starting in 1818, new stars and stripes were added to the American flag each July 4 to make the creation of new states. 

19. The U.S. Flag Code offers guidelines for flying the flag on July 4, and every day. 

20. John Hancock has the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence. 

21. The first July 4 celebration took place at the White House in 1801, hosted by Thomas Jefferson. 

22. One World Trade Center in New York is 1,776 feet tall to mark the year the U.S. declared its independence from Britain.

(Thanks to info first published in Parade by Lindsay Lowe.)

Published in: on July 2, 2022 at 6:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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Happy Mother’s Day

As we commemorate motherhood this weekend, I celebrate my mother, Rosel Engel Gasser.

Mom as a young woman

She grew up in war-torn Germany, experiencing the hardship, lack of food, bombing, seeing family members wounded and taken prisoner. She worked hard, persevered, and had her eyes set on “something better.”

As a nurse, she took care of the wounded, including an American GI, a friend of my dad’s. Don Gasser was in the Army, part of the American occupation after WWII ended and stationed in Mom’s small town of Bad Orb.

He went to the hospital to visit his friend, met the nurse, and they hit it off. He befriended her family, took them food, and gave them encouragement as they dug themselves from the wasteland of war.

Wedding 1948

After a few weeks or months, the Army shipped Dad home with no notice. By the time he arrived, he decided he really liked this vivacious German girl. He wrote her a letter and asked if she would consider coming to America to marry him. She wrote back “Yes!” looking forward to the “land of milk and honey,” the opportunity for a fresh new start.

However, it took two years of endless paperwork before she was able to make the trip.

I have always thought how courageous she was to leave her family, her home, and her friends to move to a new country, with a new language, different culture (from urban to a ranch in the middle of nowhere), not knowing anyone except this man she hadn’t even seen for two years! And in 1948, people still looked at Germans as “the enemy.”

Life in eastern Montana was not “milk and honey.” It was eking out an existence in the heat and droughts of summer, brutally cold winters, and the uncertainty of making a living ranching and farming.

She threw herself into the partnership with my dad, working alongside him while keeping an immaculate house. During the first years, she had no hot and cold running water, so she washed clothes by hand. A gas-powered washing machine made life a little easier, but the water had to be carried by the bucketful to fill the washer and then to empty it. A coal-burning stove in the kitchen heated two rooms in the winter, and she prepared nutritious meals on it as well as heating the iron for pressing clothes.

Before my brother was born in 1955, my dad remodeled a storage room for a kitchen, complete with electric appliances and a washer and dryer. My mom was ecstatic.

Mom worked hard all her life, set a godly & moral example, and taught me to be a strong, independent woman who could accomplish whatever I set out to do.

I look back and thank her today for the woman she helped to shape in me.

To memorialize and understand her better, I’ve written two novels: Seeking the American Dream and Finding True Home, based on her life.

Published in: on May 7, 2022 at 6:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who is Samantha Moser?

(Editor’s Note: This interview first appeared on Wild Women Authors in December 2020)

Questions for the Character: Samantha Moser

Samantha, tell us a bit about Rescuing Samantha

When I found out the ranch that once belonged to my trailblazing, rodeo cowgirl great-grandmother was for lease, I jumped at the chance to return to Montana and pursue my dream of raising Thoroughbreds. I had a rescued mare I wanted to breed and start a herd.

Tootsie Bailey aka Nettie Moser
of Cowgirl Dreams

After my fiancé and I spent most of a back-breaking year fixing up the abandoned, dilapidated ranch, winter descended with a vengeance. Experiencing white-out conditions feeding animals, getting stuck, and the fear of freezing to death, Kenny left me to return to Arizona.

My dreams were shattered, the weather and financial conditions too difficult to raise the delicate racing breed. Then an eastern U.S. development group tried to take over a large portion of Montana land, including my ranch, for an exotic animal refuge.

I was forced to take a job on a dude ranch just to survive. In the midst of uncertainty, I rediscovered the healing power of horses for children. I was thrust forward with a possible new purpose in life. But was it enough to succeed?

Could I help a young teen overcome her insecurities, battle the investment group threatening the land, and trust the man who has a stake in the takeover while he professes his help?

What made you choose ranching and working with horses for a profession/career?

Riding and being around horses has been in my blood since I was a child. I was never happier than I was when working with them. I grew up on a ranch in eastern Montana, and that’s where I want to be.

Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a horse rescuer or do something different?

I think this may be my purpose, along with working with kids—I fell into this by accident, certainly a surprise twist in my life plans.

What is your biggest fear?

Failure. I’ve failed at just about everything I’ve tried. I want to feel like my great-grandma Nettie would be proud of me. I don’t want to fail at this.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Follow your dream. My great-grandmother and my grandmother both were strong, independent women, and encouraged their descendants to persevere.

***

Heidi: Sam takes strength from her grandmothers’ lives and advice, and she continues to pursue her new dream to develop her horse rescue ranch, working with teens and veterans .

In the second “Rescue” series book, Rescuing Hope, Samantha Moser’s quest to buy the ranch her great-grandparents once owned—the ranch she’s struggled to manage for a heartless owner—seems impossible. With the help of the troubled teen she’s mentoring, and her rescue horses, life is rich under the Montana sky. But when a group of veterans with PTSD need her help, and the man she could find happiness with has a serious accident while helping her rescue another horse, life takes an overwhelming, stressful turn. Can Sam find the strength and courage to overcome, or will all her dreams shrivel and die on the prairie?

Published in: on February 21, 2022 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Where it All Began

by Heidi M. Thomas

In the early 1940s my grandparents moved from the Cut Bank, Montana area to Ingomar to the ranch I picture from my earliest memories. This is truly “the middle of nowhere”: 42 miles from Forsyth and 26 to Melstone on Highway 12, 100 miles to Billings and 87 to Miles City via I-94. (See my post Childhood Memories, Adult Discoveries from 2014. https://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/category/travel/)

My Grandparents’ House Still Stands

The town was established in 1908, as a station stop on the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Although the area attracted numerous homesteaders during the decade following the railroad’s completion, the region proved to be far too arid and inhospitable for intensive agricultural use, and by the 1920s the town was in decline. The railroad through the area was abandoned in 1980, and only a handful of people remain in Ingomar today—population 14.

Ingomar was a trade center for the surrounding sheep raising area and had one of the largest sheep shearing plants in the state. In the early days, Ingomar and Sumatra were the chief trading towns for the homesteaders in western Garfield County. Freight wagons were often caught in the Gumbo Flats—a wide strip of land south of Sand Springs that can’t be crossed when it’s wet. (From Cheney’s Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Old Main Street Ingomar (photo courtesy Billings Gazette)

At one time, Ingomar featured 46 businesses, including a bank, railroad station, two elevators, two general stores, two hotels, two lumber yards, plus rooming houses, saloons, cafes, a drugstore, blacksmith shop, claims office, doctor, dentist and maternity home. The original school building still stands, although in disrepair. Bookman’s General Store has been incorporated into the bar/cafe.

A fire in 1921 destroyed much of the town, and while some businesses rebuilt, others moved on.

Depression and drought killed off most of the rest of Ingomar, until the Jersey Lilly Bar and Café was, if not the last place standing, at least the last place open for business.

The only eatery for miles around, the Jersey Lilly is on the National Register of Historic Places and inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2017. It is now for sale as the owners want to retire and spend time with their grandchildren.

The Jersey Lilly is Still Open Today

In 1914, the building was originally a bank, which closed in 1921 due to misappropriation of funds. In 1948, it began operating as the Jersey Lilly Bar & Cafe when it was purchased by Bob Seward, originally from Texas.

The name originates with the infamous “hanging judge” Roy Bean of Langtry, TX. Somewhere along his wild and wooly way, Roy Bean had developed a schoolboy crush on the beautiful English actress Lillie Langtry. He nicknamed his saloon the “Jersey Lillie,” for the British island where she was born. 

The Montana Jersey Lilly retained the original bank building character and charm, with the original tin ceiling, bank vaults and wooden flooring with the outline of teller cages still visible. Many of the original fixtures, including the beautiful cherry wood back bar remain. The piece was brought up on river boat from St. Louis to Forsyth in the early 1900s. It sat in Forsyth during prohibition before it was brought to Ingomar in 1933 in the back of a Model T. As the story goes, this is why there are scratches in the mirror.

The Beautiful Cherrywood Back Bar

The town has no other businesses besides the Jersey Lilly and the post office. The rodeo grounds are still active with the Ingomar Rodeo Club, which puts on two major events every year—in July and Labor Day Weekend.

Ingomar and the Jersey Lilly play prominent roles in my novels, beginning with Dare to Dream, which takes place in the 1940s and is based on my rodeo cowgirl grandmother. This continues with the series based on my parents in Seeking the American Dream and Finding True Home.

Book 1 in Rescue Series

Now, in Rescuing Samantha, my character has returned to her great-grandparents’ ranch to follow her own dream, at first to raise Thoroughbred horses. But she soon discovers the harsh climate and far distances are too much of a deterrent to this dream. Almost by accident, she rescues a couple of horses and begins to work with troubled teens and veterans with PTSD, continuing her story in Rescuing Hope and the third in the trilogy, Rescue Ranch Rising, which will be published later this year.

Published in: on February 10, 2022 at 10:16 pm  Comments (3)  
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Christmas on the Ranch

Heidi Thomas

First published in It’s A Cowboy Christmas anthology Vol. 2, edited by Sally Harper Bates

Snow drifting lazily from the sky, the spicy scent of the pine tree twinkling with lights, platters and tins of cookies galore, and board games.

Christmas eve was always the “real Christmas” when I was growing up. An evening to look forward to for weeks of shining anticipation and wonder and awe.

It all started in 1948, when my mother emigrated from Germany. She arrived in November, just in time to experience the American Thanksgiving holiday, lots of snow, an outhouse, no electricity, and life on a ranch with real cowboys.

In December she received a letter, which had been lost and rerouted several times, informing her that, although she had spent two years filling out reams of forms in duplicate and triplicate, she was still lacking documentation to stay in America, and would have to return to Germany after the New Year.

Unless she was married.

Yes, she had come to America to marry my dad, but it became imperative this ceremony happen before the end of the year. After a search, they found a minister in a town 75 miles away willing to marry them on short notice. But because he was to leave on vacation right after Christmas, the only day available was December 24. And, because that evening was the church’s Christmas eve service and children’s program, the slot open was 4 p.m.

Since my dad’s family lived in “the middle of nowhere” in eastern Montana, and being practical, frugal ranchers, they couldn’t simply go to town for a wedding. No. Grandpa and Dad hitched up a trailer to the car, and they would pick up a load of feed—“as long as we’re in town anyway.”

So, at 4 o’clock on December 24, 1948, my parents were married on the pine-bough decorated stage in the Lutheran Church in Forsyth, Montana. A celebratory dinner at the Corner Café and a movie “The Fuller Brush Man” completed this landmark day. Oh yes, and the load of feed, hauled home on slippery roads, and a slight delay to fix a flat tire.

Every Christmas Eve thereafter, at 4 p.m., my mother would get dressed up, my dad came in from doing chores, and we sat around the Christmas tree, having coffee or hot chocolate and eating cookies.

The old coffee pot my parents used for many years

After supper, for several hours, we slowly and meticulously opened gifts, one at a time, carefully cutting the tape and saving the paper for next year. We savored each one—sometimes it was a picture from the Sears catalog of whatever item Mom had ordered but hadn’t arrived yet. And last, but certainly not least, Dad pulled the package from Germany from behind the tree, and we delighted in German chocolate, Lebkuchen cookies, lovely handmade lace items or fine china coffee cups. Mom marveled over each gift, with a misty, far-away look in her eyes. I know she missed her family and would not see them again for ten years.

About the time we began folding up the Christmas wrapping, Dad or Mom would suddenly say, “Did you hear that?”

Our ears perked up as we listened. “What? What did you hear?”

“I thought I heard bells.” Or “Was that footsteps on the roof?”

We rushed out to the front porch, where a pile of gifts had been left for us by Santa. We never did catch our dad putting them out there—sneaky guy, but it was the culmination of a warm, loving, happy family evening.

I will always cherish those memories.

Published in: on December 23, 2021 at 11:08 pm  Comments (4)  
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Wild Cow Ranch Books a Collaborative Effort

Welcome to the Wild Cow Ranch! Georgia author Denise F. McAllister and Texas author Natalie Bright have teamed up to bring you a new western series. Book #1 MAVERICK HEART is available now and hit the #1 spot on Amazon Hot New Releases. Book #2 A WILD COW WINTER is available February 10, and Book #3 FOLLOW A WILD HEART will be released in March. The books are available on Amazon in print or eBook formats.

Q: What inspired the new Wild Cow Ranch series and what is it about?

Natalie: I enjoy stories about quirky, complex characters who leave their old life behind and start anew, and I’ve always wanted to write a story set in the Texas Panhandle. The Wild Cow Ranch series centers around our main character, Carli Jameson, who inherits a cattle ranch from a grandfather she never knew. Her journey is the main focus, which makes it women’s fiction, but included is the small-town vibe and a bit of cowboy romance. We’ve also added a faith element to these books, as Carli tries to discover who she is and what her purpose should be. Most of the characters hold with Christian values, but some do not. The stories are clean and sweet, the types of books you can pass along to a daughter or your mother.

Denise: Inspiration for this series was Natalie. She told me her idea, and we decided to write it together. Coincidentally, I had a similar story in my head before we even met so I guess it was meant to be. I love how we were able to bring experiences from my life in Georgia and Natalie’s in Texas together to create some of Carli’s adventures.

Q: What are some comparison titles of books or movies similar to this book?

Denise: I think of Hallmark stories but also anything with a strong female lead. This is about a woman who has had to learn how to make it on her own, a woman who has been forced, for whatever reason, to be independent. Sometimes that independence makes her a little distant from the very people who are trying to help her. In Book One, MAVERICK HEART, that person might be a potential love interest.

Natalie: One of my all-time favorite movies is THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER, in which the setting is as much of a character as the people. The Texas Panhandle plays a big part in our stories. I love westerns that include the connections with the land and livestock. Denise brings the knowledge of horses as horse shows were a big part of her youth, and as a cattle ranch owner, I’m including that element. If you like feel-good, hopeful stories with happy endings, you might give our new series a try. 

Q: Which scene or chapter in any of the books is your favorite? Why?

Natalie: My favorite scene is the snowstorm in Book #2, A WILD COW WINTER. Even though it releases on February 10, the story is centered around Christmas—a holiday that our main character, Carli Jameson, really dreads. The norther that blows in is typical of Texas Panhandle weather, which can be unpredictable. She and her horse Beau are trapped in a barn as temperatures drop, and she finds herself in a life or death situation.

Denise: I love it when Carli relaxes some and has peace, when she opens her heart to a love interest, and especially when she opens her heart to God. It’s a hard thing sometimes to give up control. But it can be such a better life to not have to carry life’s burdens all on your own. I also love in Book #3 FOLLOW A WILD HEART how we introduced art and museums to the story. Not many westerns have that element.  

Q: Was it easy to co-author these books?

Natalie: It has definitely been a challenge but has been very fulfilling creatively. The best part is having someone to bounce ideas off of, and to have brainstorming sessions about the characters and plot lines. Our process improves with every book that we write together.

Denise: It was a learning process. We had to be willing to compromise, listen to the other person’s ideas, and accept that our co-author might have a better way for the good of the story. Sometimes we hit a little bump in the road, but I think mostly that has to do with our schedules. We might write on different days or weeks. Then we come together and dissect everything, review, edit, revise. But at the core, we both have the same story in our heads. 

For buy links and more about the authors and their inspiration, read an interview on the publishers website https://christiankindlenews.com/get-know-wild-cow-ranch-co-authors/

Find the authors online at www.nataliebright.com or www.mcallisterediting.com

For more about the Wild Cow Ranch Series, check out the inspirational boards on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/natbright/maverick-heart/

Published in: on February 9, 2021 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Carmen Peone and Lillian’s Legacy

I’m thrilled to have award-winning author and fellow Women Writing the West friend share about her books and writing process.

Carmen, Tell us what your recent book, Lillian’s Legacy, is about:

Lillian’s Legacy is about a young teen, Lillian Gardner, who in 1875 feels displaced by her family and like a shadow under her infamous horseracing older sister. Things get worse when her sister, Hannah, insists her wedding be on Lillian’s sixteenth birthday.

That day, a Welsh healer, who happens to be traveling north, stops at the Gardner ranch for a drink and rest. She discovers Lillian’s interest in healing and offers for her to tag along. Lillian accepts and heads out that night, in an attempt to prove she has value. Without confirming her plans with her folks.

The story goes on as Doctor Maddox mentors young Lillian, who is trying to discover if she has what it takes to experience tragedy, life, and death and find a way to help and heal. Along the way, Doctor Maddox shares what the legacy they should be leaving to their patients as female healers. 

The question is, will Lillian discover her true calling? Will she be respected as a female healer in training?

You’ll have to read to book to find out!

How did Lillian’s Legacy come about?

I had been pondering for a few years what the final book in the trilogy, and my young adult writing career, may look like and nothing came to mind. It felt like I had a blank canvas and no tools to work with.

Then one night at women’s Bible study, which I hosted last fall at my house, I was sharing my emptiness with the ladies, one of which was a local doctor, and a friend looked at Doctor Maria and said, “Why not make it about medicine?”

Doctor Maria Trevino went on to mentor me and read the book. She caught a few little things that made a big difference. One of which dealt with a few suture scenes. I needed to add something about stitching the wounds, especially deep ones, from the inside out.

Also, Lillian had to decide which injuries needed medical attention first. So, I had to re-arrange one scene to make that happen. I am so thankful and honored Doctor Maria agreed to work with me. She is a wonderful physician and woman.  

What is different about this book?

Most of my books are about girls and horses. I wanted this one to be different. This trilogy began with Delbert, Lillian’s brother who along with two friends go on a fishing expedition that turns bad, and Hannah was the horse racer I mentioned earlier.

It only made sense to have Lillian seek medicine as her mother is a healer who deals with local, natural plants and herbs. The tie fits so well as I married the knowledge Lillian had from her mother and Doctor Maddox’s western medicine of the times, which also included natural medicines. 

This trilogy, the Gardner Siblings, is a spin-off of my True to Heart Trilogy, which is the first series I wrote. The siblings were young in the True to Heart series and when they “turned sixteen,” I gave them their own story.

In reality, I wasn’t ready to let the characters go. But out of it all, I created a curriculum to go along with all of my young adult books.

What drives you to write your books?

I never intended to be a writer. I actually have an Abnormal Psychology degree, but when my Native husband and I moved onto the reservation in eastern Washington, I began to learn the culture.

My husband’s people, the traditions that surround me, and the land I live on are what inspires me the most. Not to mention riding in the woods on one of my horses.

Spupaleena, the main character in my True to Heart Trilogy would not leave me alone. So, I joined a writer’s course from Writer’s Digest, and off I went.

Do you have a message you’d like your readers to find?

The message I want my readers to know is we all have a dream inside of us. God has given me so many wonderful talents and gifts, they spill over into my characters. He’s given all of my readers talents and gifts as well, and I want each reader to discover theirs and live a life of purpose.

I especially want my young readers to know how incredibly valuable they are. And to know for every problem, there is a solution. We have a lot of suicides and drug and alcohol-related deaths on the reservation. I want youth to know there is always hope.

When did you first realize you were a writer?

I first realized I was a writer when my first book was published. That’s when I took myself seriously because I had a lot of doubt. Grammar and I were not yet friends. But along the way, I’ve learned how to write, including grammar and spelling, which were never my strong suit.

I’ve learned the more I write, the better I get. Daily writing time is a must. It has to be a priority.

How many books have you published?

This is tricky for me. The total books available for sale are eleven. I do count my first trilogy, making it 14, because I totally revamped them when my publisher went out of business. It was like starting over and writing the books from the get-go. Which was cool because I got to witness my progress as a writer.

Included in the eleven titles are four literary guides: two for my trilogies; one for my novel, Girl Warrior; and one workbook that teaches young writers how to write fiction.

I also have a novel in for consideration by a publisher. I’m excited about this one as it’s my romantic suspense debut. The official shift from YA to adult.

What was the hardest part of writing Lillian’s Legacy

The hardest part was figuring out the topic. Once I decided on medicine, it all came together. Then I threw in a twist which added an element of suspense.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

I learned how incredibly hard the lives of doctors, especially for females, were in the 1800s. They had to treat patients in all sorts of weather, all hours of the day and night, and traveled miles at times on foot or by horse. 

Do you have any advice for other writers? (Any suggestions to help them be better writers?)

I suggest writers learn the craft in their genre as they write (if they don’t have a degree), attend conferences, and find a quality writer’s group and critique partners. Make writing a priority. Write every day, or at least six days a week, even if it’s a small amount of time.

Writers, know your skill and creativity are gifts. Take yourself seriously and others will too—believe your book or article or whatever your writing dream is will happen!

About Carmen Peone

Award-winning author Carmen Peone lives with her tribal husband, Joe, on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation in Northeast Washington. She gathered cultural knowledge from family and elders and studied the language and various cultural traditions and legends under the late Marguerite Ensminger. She is a horse and photography enthusiast. With a degree in abnormal psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. She came to love the people and their heritage and desires to create a legacy for her family.

Lillian’s Legacy and the Gardner Siblings include a Literary Guide.

This is great for summer fun, homeschool learning, and historical knowledge in the classroom.

Find Out More Here

Purchase Lillian’s Legacy today on

Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Carmen loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:

Website and Blog | Facebook | TwitterInstagram | Pinterest

Published in: on July 21, 2020 at 2:30 pm  Comments (4)  

A Historical Mystery Romance: One Last Dance

by Linda Weaver Clarke

OneLastDance 150dpiOne Last Dance: Felicity Brooks is a talented artist but her career is cut short when her father passes away. Realizing the importance of family, she travels home to care for her mother. When Felicity meets their new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. When she finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom…a precious treasure that her father discovered in his attic, her life takes a new turn. This Historical Romance is set in 1835.

Awesome Reviews:

“One thing that always keeps me reading this author’s books is her characters; they are engaging, funny and passionate. I especially liked Mr. Adams’ character as he was both witty and charming with an air of mystery about him. I was impressed by Felicity’s character. She was a strong woman who had seen some of the world, only to end up back home where everything feels different. I liked the quirky bond between Mr. Adams and Felicity. He has her pegged from the start and from the moment they meet you can tell at some point sparks will fly, and they will challenge each other’s perspectives on the problem at hand, which made this book rather gripping. One Last Dance kept me guessing until the end and left me wanting to read this book all over again. If you like Historical Romance with a mysterious touch and well-developed characters, this book is a must-read.” –Author Katrina Hart

One Last Dance is a historical romance with a mystery to add to the tale. Felicity has always been a strong and independent woman. Amongst mystery, loss, paintings, and a career, she is going to have to decide if love has a place in her heart.” –Author Anna Del C Dye

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Willow-Valley-Historical-Romance-ebook/dp/B07GVNWSP9

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-last-dance-linda-weaver-clarke/1129427291

Linda Weaver Clarke’s links:

Linda’s Website: www.lindaweaverclarke.com

Linda’s Books: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com

Linda’s Audiobooks: https://family-friendly-audiobooks.blogspot.com

Linda’s Blog: http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.comLindaweb

About the Author: Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. Linda is the author of 24 books. She has written in several different genres, which include: historical romances, romantic cozy mysteries, a mystery suspense series, children’s book, and non-fiction. All her books are family friendly. To learn more, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

 

Published in: on November 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Labor Day Reflections

Growing up on a ranch/farm in eastern Montana, I often heard from my folks, “Every day is Labor Day.”

cowCows don’t know when it’s a holiday or when Daylight Savings Time kicks in. Milk cows want to be milked at the same time every day. Beef cows need to be fed, even during a blizzard. Hay needs to be cut, baled and stacked when it’s ready–not next week after we take a vacation.

Hayfield-agricultureIf we were lucky enough to have a few days between haying season and grain harvesting season, we occasionally could take a short vacation–maybe to Glacier  or Yellowstone Park. Those were rare but memorable family trips.

So those of us who have Monday through Friday, 9-5 type jobs and get a day off on “Labor Day,” let’s consider ourselves lucky and give thanks for all those who do labor on this day.

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Published in: on September 3, 2018 at 6:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Meet the Author: Bear Lake Family Saga

To win an ebook or an Audible audiobook, answer this question: “Why do you like historical romances?” and your preference of ebook or audio.

Who is Author Linda Weaver Clarke?

I was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and live in Color Country in southern Utah. I am the author of 23 books. I have several genres that I write in—a Historical Romance series: Bear Lake Family Saga, a Mystery Suspense series: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans, a Cozy Mystery series: Amelia Moore Detective Series, and a Period/Adventure Romance: The Rebel Series. I am also a missionary at the Family Search Center. I help people find their ancestors and learn about their heritage.

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What draws readers to this historical romance series: Bear Lake Family Saga?

This series has strong female characters who have a destiny to fulfill. Each woman wants to make a difference in someone’s life. No matter the trial that comes her way, she is ready to fight for what she believes. I love the male characters. Even though they are strong and masculine, they have their tender moments that can melt your heart. Bear Lake Family Saga has plenty of adventure along with a tender love story.

What was the inspiration for this series?

My ancestors were my inspiration. I was writing their histories so my children would learn to appreciate their heritage. Their stories were intriguing and full of adventure. When I was done, I decided to write a historical romance series and give these true experiences to my fictional characters.

Give us a brief description of each story in this series.

Melinda and the Wild West (Book 1): Melinda is a schoolteacher. She has many challenges but it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger (Book 2): Edith is a nurse. When a mysterious stranger starts writing to Edith, she gets to know a man’s inner soul before making any harsh judgments. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery but is he as wonderful in person as he is in his letters?

Jenny’s Dream (Book 3): Jenny is an aspiring author. She has a dream to fulfill, but the only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can follow her dream.

Sarah’s Special Gift (Book 4): Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher but she is not an average young woman. Sarah is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. And it does not stop her from falling in love with a man who needs her help.

Elena, Woman of Courage (Book 5): The Roaring Twenties was a time of great change, when women raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. As Elena fights to prove herself as the town’s first female doctor, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

Are your books in audiobook form?

Yes. I have a narrator who is narrating them for Audible. I have one narrator for Melinda and the Wild West, and then changed to a different narrator for the next four. Carolyn Kashner actually sings in Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, and she has such a lovely voice.

Who is the most intriguing character in this series?

I love all my female characters, but I feel that Elena from Elena Woman of Courage is the most interesting. She has to endure a lot of prejudice from the town bully who feels that women doctors have no right to practice medicine. But that isn’t all. This story takes place during the roaring twenties, and Elena has decided to be a part of this new generation by bobbing her hair and raising her hemlines. That takes a lot of courage. Of course, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds her most intriguing. He actually admires her tenacity. I admire Elena, as well.

(For history buffs: Bobbed hair caused a lot of commotion. A teacher in Jersey City was ordered to grow her hair back by the school board or she would be fired. Women with bobbed hair were fired from prestigious department stores without any warning. A preacher pounded the pulpit, saying that a “bobbed woman was a disgraced woman.” The raising of hemlines had its problems, as well.)

They developed a new vocabulary during the roaring twenties. What were some of the words you discovered while writing this story?

This was the fun part of writing Elena Woman of Courage. During this time period, theyLindaweb spoke a language foreign to their parents.  Here are some examples.

If you were excited about something, you say: Cat’s pajamas!

If you didn’t agree with someone, you say: Ah, horsefeathers!

If you were a feisty woman, you were referred to as: a bearcat.

If you were an attractive woman, you were referred to as: a doll.

Women were also referred to as: a tomato.

When John wanted to “spoon” with Elena, she said: The bank’s closed.

A woman’s body was referred to as a chassis and her legs were gams.

Where can readers find you?

My website has sample chapters to read: www.lindaweaverclarke.com

My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO
My Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/ZA-z2ckme8w

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