Sunday, October 28, 2018

Did one of your characters pass by Independence Rock?

While researching information for my next book, I came across the interesting story of Independence Rock located 55 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming on hwy 220. 
      It all began fifty million years ago, when the peaks of the Granite Range rose up to begin the long geologic processes of exfoliation. The mountains eventually sagged into the earth's crust, and about 15 million years ago, wind-blown sand smoothed and rounded their summits creating this great American landmark.
    When American fur hunters headed west in the 1820s, the Sweetwater Valley became the main trail to the heart of the continent. After that, came the pioneers.  
                       Image result for images oregon trail    
                                   painting by William Henry Jackson
   In 1824, M. K. Hugh carved the oldest recorded inscription (now weathered
away) into the ancient landmark. Some say legendary mountain man Thomas "Broken Hand" Fitzpatrick named it "Rock Independence" that year when he passed by on the Fourth of July
    Like a great stone turtle, Independence Rock sprawls over 27 acres next to the meandering Sweetwater River. More than a mile in circumference, the rock is 700 feet wide and 1,900 feet long. Its highest point, 136 feet above the rolling prairie, stands as tall as a twelve-story building.
                              Image result for images independence rock

The pioneer priest, Pierre-Jean De Smet, saw the rock in 1841, and dubbed it "the great register of the desert." Other sojourners called it the backbone of the universe.

     Over three decades, nearly half a million Americans passed Independence Rock on their way to new homes on the frontier. Located at the approximate mid-point between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast, Independence Rock became a milestone for travelers on the Oregon Trail. 

                       Image result for images oregon trail

  Although much of the trail has disappeared beneath modern cities and highways, hundreds of miles of nearly pristine ruts and swales still mark its course over the plains and mountains of Wyoming. 
                   Image result for images oregon trail 
    I've been on the Santa Fe trail, but not the Oregon, the bucket is growing. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Goat Coat Fashion Show

 Winter is coming! 
  Beanie Baby and Belle, my two Nigerian Dwarf goats, look so cute and "fashion forward" in their new coats. 
     These were made to order by 
              Diana at the  
It wasn't easy to find coats to fit 
around their adorable big bellies. 
          I think the donkeys might be a little jealous. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Victorian Dream FREE KindleUnlimited--only $0.99 to buy.

                                                            print length 368 
         Will he find the murderer, but lose his heart?
   For a spicy romance with a bit of mystery, and some new twists on the old tropes, get comfy and curl up with a Victorian Dream.  Free at Amazon 

      1851 England & America.
          Trelayne St.Christopher, a cosseted young English woman, dreams of falling madly in love, just like the daring women in her purloined novels. Now faced with adult responsibilities for the first time in her life, she leaps at the opportunity to manage her father's shipping business. But when Trelayne ignores her prophetic nightmares in favor of passionate daydreams, her best laid plans go dangerously awry.
     Emotionally scarred by the death of his wife, Yankee sea captain Walker Garrison bans romance from his personal manifest, shipbuilding is his only passion. The transatlantic partnership between Walker and Trelayne's father seems a grand idea until her parents are critically injured and one of Walker's crew turns up dead. On the trail of the man responsible, Walker sets sail for England. But, after meeting his new partner's daughter, protecting Trelayne and not falling in love with her may prove impossible.

Excerpt: (at the Crystal Palace)
    To her surprise, Walker tightened his grip on her elbow and urged her off the
walkway and into the shadows. She felt light headed, and her cheeks grew warm with the unstoppable heat caused by his intense perusal. 
   “That’s some hat you’re sporting,” he said.
    His unexpected comment took her off guard, leaving her confused. “You don’t like my new hat?”
   “I didn’t say I didn’t like it, just that it was really something.”

  “That’s a bit vague. Something can mean good or bad.”
   He canted his head and studied her more thoroughly. “It’s unique, I’ll give you that.” He flicked a finger at the bright bow and scarlet ribbons cascading down one side of the creation. “And unexpected.”
  “Do you like surprises?” she ventured.
  “Not generally,” he admitted. “But I do like discovering new things, taking my time, savoring each revelation, wondering what will come next.
Capturing her left hand, he toyed with the buttons on her glove. Entranced, she waited restlessly, conjuring naughty images of what he might try to discover next. One by one, he slipped the buttons free, splaying open the soft leather. Cool air slipped beneath the material as he rolled down the top, exposing her skin.
   The pulse in her wrist jump beneath the pressure of his fingers. Raising her hand to his mouth, he whispered something, but she couldn’t catch the words, only the feel of his breath on her bare skin. He lowered her hand, and little by little peeled the kid leather away, turning it inside out, sliding the softness over her knuckles, down her fingers, off the tips. She wished he would undress the rest of her just as completely and slowly—oh so slowly, one little piece of clothing following another.
   “Your fingers are cold, Trelayne,” he said, cozying her bare hand between his strong warm ones. “But I’ll wager there’s fire in your heart.”
   Speechless, she strangled the moan threatening to escape her. There was fire in more than just her heart, and it was near to burning out of control. Was it proper for a woman to ravish a man? For that was exactly what she wished to do.
   A hint of smile lingered on his mouth, but his eyes darkened, and there was nothing humorous about the way his gaze made her feel.
   She wished to speak, but words escaped her. Rarely at a loss as to what to do or say, she tried to recall what she’d been taught in deportment about keeping up lively conversation and witty dialogue. Nothing came to mind to cover a situation in which her body ruled her mind. All she could think about was what it would be like to kiss this man, make love to this man, be naked beside this man. There was definitely a fire in her heart.
   “Fires can be dangerous,” she murmured.
   “Yes,” he agreed. “Especially the ones that burn long and slow and incredibly hot.”
   Illustrations from the books she read in secret seared across her mind—scandalous, wonderful imaginings.
   He leaned in closer. She swore he was about to kiss her, could feel his breath and the tiniest tickle of his mustache as his mouth hovered oh so near her lips. Then he straightened, his expression one of confusion, even consternation. He looked like a man delirious with fever, just come to his senses.
   “We should find the others,” he suggested, releasing her from the spell she was under. 
    It was the last thing she wanted. Couldn’t he tell, didn’t he know? 
   “Out of all the wonders here tonight,” he reassured, “spending time with you is what I shall remember most.”
            Readers who enjoyed Victorian Dream
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                                Lady Gallant  
                                             print length 368 pages, rated spicy    
   Disowned by her father and still mourning the death of her fiancĂ©, Josephine Posey joins Florence Nightingale’s brigade of nurses bound for the Black Sea. Thousands of British soldiers desperately await these angels of mercy and a new life awaits Josie. Amidst the chaos of death and despair, she finds a spark of hope, lighting the flame once more inside her soul.
    In search of the truth, Garrick Allen, one of Britain’s first war correspondents also journeys to the Crimean Peninsula. To him the soldiers seem all but abandoned by Queen and country, and as he smokes his cheroots and makes friends with a bottle, he writes his bold but honest dispatches for The Times.  Not wanting anything more than to finish his job and go home, Garrick is blind-sided by a nurse with attitude who offers him a new slant on life and a reason to love.

        Amazon kindle     The Wild Rose Press $2.99   
                    Barnes and Noble $2.99