Kim Vogel Sawyer keeps getting better with each novel! Beneath a Prairie Moon hits the readers’ emotions on multiple levels at the same time. In this historical romance set in 1888 Kansas, Abby and Mack are searching for the same thing—love—but neither believes it can ever be found.
Abby works for Helena as an assistant to her at a matchmaking business because Helena has been unable to find a match for Abby that would stick. Helena has a large problem to solve in a small Kansas town, Spiveyville. Sixteen men have all requested brides at the same time. Helena insists that Abby accompany her to Spiveyville to teach the men lessons to ready them for their brides.
Mack runs the only hardware store in town and is adamant that the men are wasting their money sending for mail order brides. God is the one to make matches that will stick, like the marriage his parents have. When the two women arrive alone instead of bringing all the prospective brides, Mack thinks they are trying to pull a scam.
Between sunburn, merciless wind, kidnapping, and doubt can Abby and Mack ever find the love God intends them to have?
I received a preview copy of Beneath a Prairie Moon to review. This is my honest opinion.
The waiting is over! Treacherous Trails, book number two in Dana Mentink’s Gold Country Cowboys series, is ready to hit the bookstores.
Ella Cahill, a farrier, and Owen Thorn have known one another forever. When Ella is accused of murder, Owen feels duty bound to help her out of her predicament.
Make sure you start reading Treacherous Trails early in the day or you’ll be awake all night turning pages to find out if Ella and Owen can get themselves out of the mess in which they have become embroiled.
Now to tick off the minutes until book three comes off the press. Which Thorn brother will see action next?
Another new year, 2018, has arrived. With it, came freezing temperatures. Luckily, in my part of East Texas no freezing precipitation arrived with the sub-freezing temps.
Thank goodness, God was watching out for us when our furnace decided to die at 2:00 a.m. on December 29. We called the gas company, and a female technician arrived to check for a gas leak. There wasn't one, so she turned the gas off to the heater. We contacted a local AC/Heat company as soon as they opened and by 4:30 p.m. we had a new unit installed and working. Thank you, Jackie Ford and Robbie. The cats were appreciative of the heat too.
Also, the end of December saw the release of my first solo book/novella, The Bridesmaid Got Waylaid. It is one of six novellas in a collection called Trying Out For Love. I can't wait to read the other five stories in the collection.
Happy New Year, everyone!
My Bear is assisting me tonight...she's curled up on my left arm sleeping, while I try to work. Thank goodness she is mostly on the arm of the recliner because she weighs nine pounds.
Typing one-handed is a skill learned by necessity but does require more editing.
I feel like I've been writing with one hand behind my back for the past three months. I contracted to write a novella for a collection about women who attend an auction to bid on the right to be one of six bridesmaids. The idea originated with an online writing friend who had heard a news story about such a thing and thought it would be cute to see what six different writers could come up with, writing independently.
Why hold an auction? The bride-to-be decides she wants the money for her wedding. Not that she needs it, but because she wants it. She sends invitations to every person she has ever met, who she has any kind of address for at the time.
Why would her 'friends' agree to participate? She is a name in society. If they win a place their positions in the Newport Beach society would be elevated.
My writing buddy, Jayna Aspromonte, met with me in October and we plotted the 20,000 word novella. Loosely, mind you since I'm a panster--a writer who gets an idea and starts writing. No pre-planning, no character arcs, just sit down and write. A plotter lays everything out in detail.
Elaine and I traveled the same way we wrote. We had a destination in mind but how we got there depended on what we saw on our maps--the old-fashioned thingies made from paper with roads on it to guide you.
Oh, the places we would have missed and the adventures that we wouldn't have had if we plotted our course by city, date, and time. I'll have those memories for the rest of my life span and beyond because bits and pieces of all our trips end up in our writings.
Back to the discussion. All I had to do was get the invitation to Colleen (my heroine), have her go to the bridesmaids' auction, and win a spot.
Why couldn't I do that? No idea at the time. I started writing and got nowhere. November came, and I started again using the same basic story line. Nada.
The pressure built. I only had 20k to write. Easy task. After all, I had managed to write 51,000 words once in November during National Novel Writing Month. Two weeks passed and Thanksgiving was nearing along with my December 1 deadline. Panic rose.
Then I did what I should have done to start with...I started praying. At the beginning of Thanksgiving week, I got an insight. A thought from a line in version two hit me. Colleen had taken some extra time in getting to California because she drove and did some sightseeing.
What if I changed her profession from potter to photographer and sent her on that same sightseeing tour, starting the story off in the middle of her adventure?
New file, new beginning. The only thing remaining from the original outline was Colleen Decker, and that she currently lives in Dallas. She had lived in Newport Beach until she was twelve and her parents were killed. Everything else was new.
Now, Colleen found herself on Wyoming Highway 14A, scenic route through the Big Horn Mountains, having car trouble. From there, the story built. And I had fun with the writing.
I had been on Hwy 14A, and we had trouble with Elaine's van, but the problem resolved itself without human interaction. God is a better mechanic than any human.
In Colleen's case, Andrew (Drew) Thomas Murphy came along at the right time.
I got the novella finished, but not by my December 1 deadline. I emailed the publisher to let her know about the delay and continued writing. I emailed the completed file to her on December 12. So now I'm waiting to see if she accepts it, and if it will be included in the novella collection.
I'm still praying. But even if it is rejected by that publisher, I came up with ideas for two more stories. I'll write those and package all three together to submit to a different publisher.
Now, I can come out of my cave and spend more time in the living room, so Bear and the rest of the crew can join me in the recliner again.
Waiting for a new Dana Mentink novel is like waiting for Christmas to come when you’re a child. When Cowboy Christmas Guardian arrived in my mail, I dove into her newest effort with all the excitement of opening a special Christmas present.
I was sitting alone in the living room a few days ago, well except for a couple of cats. Bear was sound asleep on the couch with Bluebell right next to her. I lowered the footrest on my recliner and woke Bluebell. She raised her head and blinked at me.
I think I spoke to her. The next thing I knew she had launched herself from laying stretched out on her right side to sitting on the couch's arm. I promise she never stood up. She flew from being completely spread across the seat of the couch to sitting facing me grooming her front paws.
How do cats do things like that? I have no clue. Bluebell is one of those cats who can jump from a flatfooted position straight up in the air about 3 or 4 feet. I've seen her run up the hallway, turn the corner into the living room and leap about 5 feet across the room to avoid running into one of the other cats sitting on a rug in her path.
I sure wish someone could explain their body's agility to do such acrobatics. Then I wish someone could figure out how to transfer some of that agility to me!
In 1979, I was privileged to view a partial eclipse of the sun in Kilgore, Texas. I constructed a pinhole camera from a shoe box and shared it with co-workers. We had lots of fun, but I never once thought about the animals outside.
Today, the USA experienced a coast-to-coast solar eclipse. My sister, Katrina, and I created separate pinhole cameras to view the heavenly spectacle. She used a large cereal box, while I opted for a small box a coffee mug I had ordered came in a while back. We went outside and sat with our backs to the sun and waited. Both cameras showed us a reflection of the sun, but mine was flawed. I thought it was because I had left my reading glasses in my bedroom. After a while, Katrina had me look through her camera. So much clearer! Lesson learned - when constructing my pinhole camera for the 2024 eclipse, I'll use a larger box. :)
We stayed outside for about an hour. During that time, we noticed the dimming of the sky, a lowering of the temperature, a unique quietness, and the lack of the ever-present squirrels. We weren't in the path of totality, but we did experience about 75% of an eclipse.
I had not thought about animals staring at the sun and receiving damage to their eyes. The news, Facebook, and the internet all spewed warnings about keeping our pets indoors during the eclipse. We did. Tool, the husky, is an indoor pet but goes out to take care of his business several times a day. Katrina took him out before the eclipse started and again after it ended. Only one of the cats, Gray, goes out on occasion, but we kept her inside. Later I saw a Facebook post where two people were mounted on horses and observing the eclipse. They wore protective eye wear and had covered their horses' eyes with padded bras, which looked humorous. I laughed.
I got to thinking about the situation. In all the eons since God created the universe, the animals, and humans, why are we just now worrying about the animals?
Animal rights activists would say it's because we're finally seeing the need for protecting our pets' eyesight, thinking of them first instead of being centered on ourselves. They're wrong.
Think about it. Why aren't all the billions of wild animals, who have no one to provide them all with a safe shelter, blind?
God created them and gave them instincts to protect themselves. Why did the birds stop singing? Why did the squirrels disappear from our yard? When an eclipse happens, the light grows dim or goes completely dark, depending on the amount of eclipse in a particular area. Animals go to sleep when twilight and then night falls. God planned it that way. And He gave the animals the instincts they need to protest themselves. If humans will stay out of the way, the animals will be fine.
One last comment - I love all animals. If I could lay hands on those cruel people who torture animals, well they might just receive a taste of their own medicine.
In a houseful of female cats, a lone, male Husky named Tool resides in relative peace. Most of the time. Tool was raised with his feline sister Boo. She is a beautiful Snowshoe Siamese. They can often be found early in the mornings snuggled together on the living room couch or the rug in front of the TV. Once in a while, they wrestle around and play a little chase. Not often, mind you, because Boo is older and chunky and has arthritis.
Problems arise when the other four cats in the house feel threatened by poor Tool. He only wants to play with them, but they don't quite understand because Vader, Bear, Bluebell, and Gray weren't raised with dogs. Hissing and spitting occur when Tool comes too close and corners one or the other of the cats.
Jealousy is a major factor in the house. Bear, Bluebell, and Gray love to snuggle with me when I'm in the recliner. Tool has been slapped enough to know their claws hurt. Thank goodness, that Tool hasn't been scratched badly enough to cause major damage. His feelings get wounded often, though. When one of my feline friends tries to sit with me, at times Tool rushes over to get petted as well. This causes tension, from me, because I've been clawed enough to know how sharp those claws are. I don't want Tool to get hurt, but I also don't want more wounds on my body either.
He has his own bouts of possessiveness where his squeaky toys are concerned. Tool plays with them around the house but most often they are in the living room floor. As long as he's not paying attention, there isn't a problem. Yet, sometimes one of the cats will walk across the floor go to their food, water, or litter box and get just too close to one of his toys. A commotion ensues, and there is barking and hissing.
Tool is a great watchdog. Usually, he goes to sleep with his human father, but he is away for a few days. Tool has decided his job is to stay with me in the living room, since I stay up late, until I go to bed. Then, he takes up residence in the hallway outside of all bedrooms. His human mother tried to get him to stay in the room with her, but he lays down for about 10 minutes then jumps down and insists he be let out of the room. He's a lovable dog and friendly, but I'd hate to see what he might do to someone trying to harm one of us. We're part of his pack, and he's the alpha dog. Criminals beware.
Cats are sneaky...that's a fact. Part of it is their ability to walk around without making a sound. Another part of a cat's sneakiness is that cats love to play Hide-and-Go-Seek. Bear and Bluebell play this game pretty much every day but their version integrates Hide-and-Go-Seek with Chase.
One or the other of them will tuck away in a nook and wait. Then the other one will walk by and get "attacked." The the chase ensues. When their game is in full progress, it's better to hide yourself away in some corner and hope the trail they're taking through the living/kitchen areas won't end up including your area.
The path Bear and Bluebell take includes the couch and love seat in the living room careening off the north wall then through the dining room to the kitchen all the way down the hall to the main bathroom. Once there the two cats will pause for a moment then shoot out of the door and back down the south hallway into the living room again.
Their game lasts between five and ten minutes. After that, both cats find a soft, warm place to sleep and rest a while. Watching them is a hoot.
Years ago, we had a calico cat named Tinkerbell. In the living room, we had a piano and the keys were often left uncovered. One day I was home alone and heard the piano being played, one note at a time. I don't believe in ghosts, except for the Holy Ghost, and didn't believe anything supernatural was going on in our living room. I did want to see who was playing our piano.
I eased to where I could peek into the room and found Tinkerbell marching from the bass notes to the upper treble ones. She noticed me and jumped off, running into the family room. What was funny to me was that I had seen that same cat sneak across those same uncovered keys a number of times before without making a sound. Over Tinkerbell's remaining years, we heard her playing her music many times.
The piano has long since gone to our oldest niece's home because our father wanted her to have it. So our current five cats haven't had the chance to develop any latent musical talent. Such a shame. They simply have to make-do with inventing games.
Author, editor, quilter.
New Kindle Release
December 21, 2017
The Bridesmaid Got Waylaid
Can be purchased as a single title or in a collection,
Trying Out For Love
with 5 other novellas from Amazon.com
Murder In Maggie Valley
Book 1 of the KEPS Kozy Mystery Series from White Bird Publishing