From Pegleg to Prosthetics


I had the opportunity to learn about prosthetic devices while doing research for A Widow’s Salvation, which is a story about how the (American) Civil War affected the everyday person. While we’ve all heard stories about Pegleg Pete and Captain Hook and their prosthetics, I had no idea such devices had been uncovered as far back at 950 BC! Obviously, these were crude devices at best. It wasn’t until the Civil War in the 1860s that advances in prosthetics began to emerge. 

The huge number of amputations that were being done to save lives of the soldiers forced America to focus on the betterment of prosthetic devices for their soldiers. James Hanger was one of the first amputees of this war and took it upon himself to fashion a limb from whittled barrel staves. This crude device was transformed and advancements in the way prosthetics fit and worked happened in rapid succession due to the Civil War.

When I see the men and women who have lost legs due to war or other tragedy using today’s high-tech computerized prosthetics to run marathons, I am in awe of how far this industry has come.


Becky Lower loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. She has a degree is in English and Journalism and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with a puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary.

Visit her website at

Book One of the Cotillion Series, The Reluctant Debutante, can be found at these locations:

Order eBook: Books-a-Million | Kindle | Nook

Order Paperback: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Crimson Romance

Romancing the Perfect Cowboy

~ by Kathryn Albright

The iconic American Cowboy on screen…

You may think Sam Elliot. You may think Tom Selleck…or Clint Eastwood (or his handsome son, Scott.) And then there is John Wayne. But the one who paved the way for all others and perpetuated the myth and way of life of the American Cowboy was Gene Autry. He was born in 1907 and grew up in Oklahoma and Texas. He started off on records and in radio shows as “Oklahoma’s Yodeling Cowboy” and then moved to movies, served in World War II, and then brought his vision of the American West to television. He is the only person to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And he is the one who came up with the Cowboy Code (not to be confused with the Code of the West.)Cowboy Code:

  1. The cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage of his enemy.
  2. He must never go back on his word or a trust confided in him.
  3. He must always tell the truth.
  4. He must be gentle to children, elderly people and animals.
  5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  6. He must help people in distress.
  7. He must be a good worker.
  8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits. (Some sources simply say – He must neither drink nor smoke.)
  9. He must respect women, parents and his nation’s laws.
  10. The cowboy is a patriot.

The Cowboy Code sounds a lot like the Boy Scout Pledge to me.

Times have changed from the white-washed cowboy of yesteryear. Many of us like cowboys who are not so perfect. For me…I like my cowboys with a bit of a stubble on their handsome face and a few scars from their past to keep them tough, and humble, and wiser than the average Joe. They also need an understated sense of humor, a respect for the land and a sense of how to live off it if necessary.

How about you? What is your vision of the perfect cowboy?


Albright_Kathryn_Color_Closeup_For-Internet Kathryn Albright writes stories for Harlequin Historical about her perfectly imperfect cowboy. Her latest is The Gunslinger and the Heiress.
Her stories have finalled in the Golden Heart and received the Holt Medallion Award of Merit.

Connect with her at; Facebook; Twitter or Goodreads.

Follow Kathryn on Amazon at her Author Page!

Oh the Pain! My Favorite Series is Ending! ~ by Kit Morgan

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As a reader, what do you do when your favorite series is ending? Do you cry? Throw things? Have secret imaginings of stringing the author up by her toes and demanding she write more? Or do you, (with barely bated breath) ask, what’s next?  Being an author of more than one series, (not to mention one who likes her toes) I hope it’s the latter. Especially since I have several series, one of which is complete– Prairie Brides, but it only led into Prairie Grooms, which, as we all know, isn’t. Then there’s the Holiday Mail-Order Bride Series, also not complete. But … they are drawing to a close, which begs the question; what’s next?

Well, quite a lot actually. And YOU get to be a part of it! I’ll keep you posted through my newsletter and blog, in the mean time I’ve decided that Cutty should have his own book! After all, he gets pretty choked up around Newton and Nettie, so it might take him awhile to tell them who he really is. But there’s much more to Cutty than meets the eye, and you’ll find out how much when his book releases. I plan on writing it in November. I’ve decided to stop saying when a book will be out, at least until I know for sure. Whenever I do, the pen pixies make sure something gets in the way of my writing to put me behind!

Anyway… finding someone to represent Cutty on a cover did, at first, pose a problem. He’s not a strapping young man, after all. He’s in his late forties/early fifties. He lost most of his hair in a fire, and even though it’s slowly growing back, it’s coming in silver, not the dark hair he had before. So, the search began and ended with my sister saying, “You should meet my boss.”

“Your boss?” I said. “Why?”

“Because he would be perfect for Cutty and his wife would make a good Imogene.”

“Egads! Are you kidding?”


Some of you are aware that my daughter is a fashion photographer and she just happened to be visiting in Oregon over the last few weeks. So guess what I had her do? And did the couple ever have a blast playing dress-up in period clothes and getting their picture taken! I haven’t seen the photos yet from the shoot, but my daughter Hana says they had a great time! I think they even got his horse, Wilbur, in a few shots.

So be looking for Cutty’s story in the next few months (notice I didn’t give you an exact date) and that, dear friends, will bring Prairie Grooms to a close.

But wait … what about Newton, you ask? Well, he gets his own book too, but it will be a stand alone, and a big one! Because Newton has far too much to tell to fit into one of my regular series-sized books!


Visit Kit Morgan at her website ~ or on Facebook

Kit Morgan’s books can be found on Amazon.


Kit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, is a consistent Top 100 lists bestseller, and has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet stories that depict a strong sense of family and community. ‘His Prairie Princess’ is the first of the Prairie Brides books and the first in the series of a long line of stories about Clear Creek, Oregon. One of the whackiest little towns in the old west! Get to know the townsfolk in Clear Creek and come sit a spell! If you like Kit Morgan’s books then you might also like the Time Master Book series written under Geralyn Beauchamp.


Winter Magic ~ by Cheryl Pierson

Hi everyone! I wanted to talk a little bit about my brand new single-author western romance anthology, WINTER MAGIC. 

This is a collection of three stories that appeared in some of Prairie Rose Publications’ anthologies over the last year. Sometimes, it’s hard to tie stories together with a logline, but I love this one we came up with: Three criminals who’ve lost everything…three women who have nothing to lose…is it love or magic that bring them together in these three romantic tales of the old west?

The first story, HEARTS AND DIAMONDS, was a part of the Cowboy Cravings anthology (June 2014). Hired gun Nick Diamond is determined to ruin the life of his nemesis, Carlton Ridgeway, by claiming Ridgeway’s bride at the altar with a damning lie. He never gives a thought as to how his actions might affect the bride, Liberty Blankenship, who is ready to sacrifice herself for respectability—though she longs for love with all her heart. When Ridgeway comes looking for a fight, Nick obliges—and all hell breaks loose—but will Liberty get her heart’s desire in the end?

Since I had brought the subject of brothers up in Nick and Libby’s conversation, and since Jake, the youngest brother, made a short appearance in HEARTS AND DIAMONDS, I decided to introduce the middle brother, Brett, in SPELLBOUND, my contribution to the Cowboys, Creatures and Calico II (Oct. 2014) anthology. We had so many wonderful submissions for our Halloween anthologies in 2014 we had to make a second volume! My story appeared in this anthology because of the element of magic—and the fact that the heroine, Angie Colton, is a witch—but it actually takes place closer to Christmas. In fact, the Christmas tree is the entire reason the showdown happens like it does between safecracker Brett Diamond and the villain, Teller Magdon. Without a bit of magic, things might not have turned out as they do!

Finally, in LUCK OF THE DRAW, the youngest brother, gambler Jake Diamond gets his own story. This tale appeared in WILD TEXAS CHRISTMAS (Nov. 2014) and I love the fact that “family” is the theme—with it being so close to Christmas. Jake has a bit of a history with the heroine, Lainie Barrett. She’s been held hostage with him for several days in Brett’s story, SPELLBOUND. They’ve said some things to one another under duress that maybe shouldn’t have been said. But when Jake accompanies Lainie back to visit her mother to let her know she’s all right, they make an incredible “find” that shows them Lainie’s odd “gift” and solidifies their relationship. Can a gambling man and a novice witch risk everything on each other?

Here’s an excerpt from the first story in the collection, HEARTS AND DIAMONDS. Nick has just forced Libby to marry him. They’re in the honeymoon suite having their first “heart to heart” talk…                                  

“Be honest, Libby,” Nick said softly. “You weren’t any more in love with Carlton Ridgeway than you are with me. So what difference does it make you which one of us you marry?”

Libby was surprised at how quickly her little ladylike hand uncoiled from her proper stance and unerringly slapped his handsome face, only inches from hers. The noise it made was like a gunshot, and he flinched as he stepped back, his own hand going automatically to his cheek.

“You’re right, Mr. Diamond. I’m not in love with Carlton Ridgeway. The most I had to look forward to was a scrap of respectability—if not for myself, then for my parents. Now, that, too, is gone. So, the only choice is to go forward from this point and—and make the best of things between us. But I will not be used, any more than I have been already, Mr. Diamond.”

“Nick,” he corrected unthinkingly. “And we—can get an annulment, if that’s what you want.”

Libby’s smile held all the promise and danger that was stored in the reckless wildness of her spirit.

“I wouldn’t dream of disappointing you so, Nick,” she said sweetly. “No, we’ll make our dreams come true together,” she continued. “A home of our own, filled with children and, of course, true love.”

His lips quirked at her words. “That sounds pretty damn good to me, Libby. Uh…you do know what makes babies, don’t you?”

Though she only had a vague idea of how it was done, she wouldn’t give him the upper hand. She nodded sagely. “Oh, yes. And I’m looking forward to it.”

As if he knew her secret, Nick Diamond had the audacity to laugh aloud at that. Her face burned.

“I believe you’ll enjoy it more with me than you would have with Ridgeway.”

She moistened her lips and tried to settle the frantic pounding her heart had begun. “Well, then. Perhaps we should—start—immediately. With our family. Our baby.”

Nick stood silent as she floundered. Finally, he said, “Let’s have some dinner first, shall we? I’ll have the bellboy lay a fire for us so we’ll be comfortable when we come back from eating. You’ll need your strength for tonight…when the ‘baby making’ begins. I have a hell of an appetite—for good food and…good sex,” he added wickedly.


The Diamond brothers are cast out into the world by a crooked business deal at a young age. They’ve lost everything—including their father. Although they are forced to make their own way, brotherly bonds remain unbreakable: It’s all for one and one for all.

HEARTS AND DIAMONDS—Revenge sets hired gun Nick Diamond after a bride, and nothing will stand in his way. But when that bride happens to be outspoken firebrand Liberty Blankenship, all bets are off. Anything can happen when HEARTS AND DIAMONDS collide!

SPELLBOUND—Safecracker Brett Diamond and witch Angie Colton take on a border gang leader who is pure evil. Can Angie’s supernatural powers save them? No matter what, Brett and Angie are hopelessly SPELLBOUND.

LUCK OF THE DRAW—Handsome gambler Jake Diamond and beautiful fledgling sorceress Lainie Barrett make a last-ditch effort to reunite Lainie and her mother for Christmas. Along the way, Jake and Lainie realize there’s no escape from the powerful attraction they feel toward one another. But do they know each other well enough to become a family when they rescue an abandoned infant? With their own particular talents, they discover life is one big poker table—and love can be had if they are willing to risk it all!


Thanks so much to everyone who has stopped by today! I want to give away a digital copy of WINTER MAGIC to one lucky commenter, so please leave your contact info in your comment in case you win!

BUY LINKS           Amazon Kindle     Barnes and Noble Nook       Smashwords       Kobo

Cheryl Pierson was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, and grew up in Seminole, Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and holds a B.A. in English. She has taught numerous writing classes and workshops over the past years and also works on an individual basis with many of her students, and other authors, locally and nationwide.

Cheryl lives with her husband in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she has been for the past 30 years. She has two grown children, ages 25 and 28. You can e-mail her at

You can visit the website for her publishing enterprise, PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS, at

PRP is a publishing company devoted to publishing westerns and western romances written by women.

PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS was opened in August, 2013, by LIVIA J. WASHBURN and CHERYL PIERSON, two authors who saw a need for such an imprint. Usually, when people think “westerns” they think of male authors and male readers—but that’s not true in today’s world. Many women are just as interested in reading—and writing—westerns as their male counterparts; and of course, western romance has always been popular among the ladies!

Wings of the West

Naming A Series After BirdsBy Kristy McCaffrey

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I wrote my first novel, The Wren, more than ten years ago. I was a young stay-at-home mom with four kids all under the age of five running amuck. I’d been writing since I was seven years old, but I didn’t envision penning a novel until I was too tired from mothering to realize that what I was about to attempt would be tremendously difficult, yet so rewarding. Not much different than becoming a mom, right?

I’m sometimes asked how I came up with the titles for my Wings of the West series. The simple version is that they just came to me, which for the most part is true. I’ve long known the titles, and the order in which they appear, before I had a clear picture of characters and storylines—The Wren, The Dove, The Sparrow, The Blackbird, and the final installment, The Bluebird. But there are deeper meanings as well.

Many years ago I enjoyed a television show called “Ned Blessing: The Story of My Life and Times,” starring Brad Johnson. Maybe some of you remember it. A recurring character was a woman in town—a soiled dove—who was secretly in love with Ned. She was called “the Wren.” For some reason, that stuck with me when, years later, I began developing my Old West series. In my story, however, the heroine, Molly, isn’t a prostitute (that theme is addressed in the next book, the aptly titled The Dove). As a child Molly is quite adept with a slingshot, which she’s named “the Wren” because she believes that the rocks she uses may have been dropped by wrens. Rock Wrens have a habit of leaving a stone path to their nests. This encompasses the broader theme of Molly trying to find her way home after she was thought dead at the hands of the Comanche ten years prior.

In the second book, The Dove, I dealt with the well-used theme of prostitution. The heroine in this story, Claire, lives in a saloon run by her mama. While Claire herself isn’t a soiled dove, she still faces the decisions many women face—does she live a life for herself or for others? How many times do women prostitute themselves because they don’t feel they’re worthy, or they perceive they have no choice? How do we ‘use’ others to gain our own ends?

In The Sparrow, my heroine Emma undergoes a shamanic journey of initiation while traversing the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. During this process, she is helped by her power animal, Sparrow. I will admit, this novel took a strange turn, but I did my best to follow the bones laid before me and write the story as best I could. Sparrows are known as common birds who speak to the inherent magnificence that can be present in all of us. As I wrote the tale, I knew this bird encompassed perfectly the tone of Emma’s pilgrimage.

In The Blackbird, I found a Tennyson quote that mentions blackbirds. The heroine, Tess, while of Mexican descent also has an Irish papa and through him a connection to Tennyson. Blackbirds are mystical birds, linking us to the world of enchantment. Tess is a storyteller, a Keeper of the Old Ways; this is, and always has been, connected with imparting wisdom and magic to listeners through the telling of tales.

The last book, The Bluebird, is still a work-in-progress, but I have faith that the pieces will reveal themselves in time. This story jumps ahead several years and features Molly Rose, niece to the first Molly from The Wren. While the bird references have helped to shape the series, I always knew I’d begin with a Molly and end with a Molly, which was the nickname of my great-grandmother.

Wings of the West Series
     Book One ~ The Wren
     Book Two ~ The Dove
     Book Three ~ The Sparrow
     Book Four ~ The Blackbird

Into The Land Of Shadows

Lassoing A Groom ~ “Canyon Crossing”
Cowboy Cravings ~ “Lily and Mesquite Joe”
Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico Vol. 2  ~ “The Crow and the Coyote”
Cowboy Kisses ~ “A Westward Adventure” 



Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. She loves to travel and frequently blogs about her adventures.

Sign up for her monthly newsletter or visit her website for more info.

Going Home with Rain Trueax

Pioneer Hearts brings you a new release by Rain Trueax!  Rain introduces us to Going Home: Book 3 in her Oregon Historicals series.

Oregon historicals

Jed Hardman returns to Oregon after fighting in a war he had known was doomed to be lost. Will the woman he left behind still be there, and did his John Day River ranch survive his abandonment?

Raine Stevens has had only one love, but when she sees him again, she is as unsure, as she had been, whether she is willing to give up all she has worked for, her businesses, her successes to live in the wilderness– even with him. She has a good life—or does she? What she and Jed must face together will test them both.

Going Home travels from Portland to Eastern Oregon, in the midst of an Indian war and into a region overrun by ruthless men. Jed will again have to fight for his ranch and the woman he loves, in a land of no mercy, capable of destroying the strong along with the weak.

Book 3 in the Oregon series follows the Stevens family (Raine isn’t the only one finding a reason to head east of the Cascades). It is about what makes a home and family. What does it take to make a relationship work when it has every reason not to succeed? With gold miners, road agents, and Native Americans determined to push the white man from their land, this wilderness requires strong men and women to tame it. Raine isn’t sure she can qualify, but she’s about to find out. Going Home contains some strong language, violence, and sexual heat. It is intended for mature readers. Heat level: ♥♥♥♥ (with ♥ least and ♥♥♥♥♥ most)trueax

Buy Links:

Amazon for eBook and paperback

All other sale sites

About Rain Trueax: To date, I have published four Arizona based historicals (one of them a novella) and most recently an Oregon Trail romance that will be followed this year by three Oregon historicals as one family grows with Oregon as it goes from Territory to State. I also have written two fantasy romances, eight contemporary novels and novellas set in Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, and Montana.

When writing, I work from a sheep and cattle operation in the Oregon coast Range, in a small, desert home in Tucson, Arizona, or on the road in the inter-mountain west via satellite link. I have grown children, four grandchildren and have been married over fifty years to the man who runs this ranch.

The Surprise Brides Series – Feature Cynthia Woolf

Welcome Cynthia Woolf, our first blogger to tell us about Gideon, one of the brothers in the new Surprise Brides Series!



Last February, at something called an uncon, I got together with Sylvia McDaniel and we decided to write a series of books together. We knew we wanted four books in the series and we wanted it to be about mail order brides.

We invited Caroline Clemmons and Callie Hutton, both wonderful western writers, to join us in our endeavor.

Next we had to figure out a way to plot the overall arc of the series. Skype is a good way. When the three of them were at RWA this summer, we held a Skype meeting with me. Ideas flew around the room, good ideas, but we settled on one we thought would be fun. A marriage minded, grandchild wanting, mama orders “surprise brides” for her four sons.

A blizzard causes the ranch they are on to be cut off from the town for a week and marriages must ensue for the sake of the girls’ reputations and their mother’s as well.

My hero is Gideon and he is the preacher for Angel Springs, Colorado and could perform the ceremony. From there each book and each couple took off on their own, with only a bit of overlap. Still making sure that the same things affecting the town all happen in each story was not easy.

You couldn’t ask for a better group of women to do a series like this with. That being said, I don’t think I’ll do one again. It was a great experience but also the hardest book I’ve ever written.


The Surprise Brides: One determined mama, four reluctant brothers, four mail order brides. Meet Jamie, Caleb, Gideon and Ethan.

As the local preacher, Gideon Fraser often talks about the many virtues of a good marriage, but that doesn’t mean he has the slightest inclination of claiming a bride of his own. No, he’s been burned before, by greedy women who only want the prestige and money the Fraser family name can provide. When his mother’s devious matchmaking results in his unexpected wedding, Gideon looks at the beautiful face of the woman who has sworn to be his and wants nothing to do with her. But Gideon is in danger of losing his heart until he discovers the truth. His new wife lied to him…about everything.

Ruby Haller needed a husband and fast. A treacherous man promised her the world, took her virginity, and left her without a father for her unborn child. When her father, the town minister, found out she was expecting a child, he offered her hand in marriage to the meanest man in town. Becoming a mail-order-bride appeared to be a safer choice. But instead of a rancher, she ends up the wife of a stubborn, bull-headed preacher and he’s none too pleased when he discovers her duplicity. Worse? The local town beauty, who had been courting him for years, is determined to make her life a living hell.

But Angel Springs, Colorado is a small town that can inspire big dreams. It’s nearly Christmas, and as these two hearts heal, a holiday miracle just might be within reach.

Look for the other books in the series –

CALEB by Callie Hutton
ETHAN by Sylvia McDaniel
JAMIE by Caroline Clemmons


Gideon rose early the morning of the weddings. The chilly air did nothing to help his back, which ached from sleeping on the cold floor. He couldn’t think about that now, he had to get Desiree to Pete’s place.

With a gentle tap, he knocked on the bedroom door. “Miss Desiree, it’s Gideon Fraser. I’ll escort you to our foreman’s house now.”

Desiree answered the door, her blonde hair disheveled and her fancy dress barely covering her ample bosom. “Look preacher, I’m not an early riser. I’ll go later.”

Gideon averted his gaze. “I’m sorry miss, but we have to go now. I have four weddings to officiate at and chores that still need to be done. Please put on your coat, scarf, and boots. We have to leave as quickly as possible.”

In the main room, his three brothers were rising now, stretching, and wanting coffee. Caleb, it being his house and all, lit the stove and put on a fresh pot of coffee.

“She can eat breakfast with us, can’t she Gideon?” asked Ethan.

Gideon saw the look in Caleb’s eyes. He was looking for any opportunity to take out his frustrations on Gideon.

Gideon didn’t fall for it. “Of course, she needs to eat. I thought I’d have the oatmeal done before she was dressed and ready to go.” He walked past Caleb to the kitchen and scanned the bare shelves. “You have oatmeal, don’t you?”

“Hell, no, I don’t have any oatmeal.”

“Then I’ll scramble the girl some eggs.”

“Don’t have those either. All I got is coffee. I eat at Mama’s just like the rest of you.”

“Well, she needs to eat,” insisted Gideon, running a hand through his hair.

Desiree poked her head out of the room. “Thank you, Mr. Fraser, but I don’t eat breakfast. I hate to eat on an empty stomach.”


“I now pronounce us men and wives. You may kiss your bride.”

Gideon had never married four couples before and certainly never married himself to anyone before. He angled his body and looked at his bride. Ruby was a sweet little thing with dark red hair and the prettiest green eyes he’d ever seen. He took her hands and brought her close. Her lips were as red as the finest ripe cherry and he could resist them no longer. He leaned down and placed his lips on hers. They were warm and soft under his. He was tempted to give her a real kiss, not just the peck expected after the ceremony, but resisted the urge.

After several seconds, he pulled back and looked at her. Her eyes were still closed, but a smile curved her lips. That was a good start to their marriage. They both were attracted to each other.

Ruby didn’t eat much of the dinner Mama and Milly had fixed. Of course, none of the women did.

The opposite was true of him and his brothers. Nothing kept them from eating. He especially appreciated the home-cooked meals. When he was home at the rectory he cooked for himself or ate the offerings of one of the single ladies, which was a double-edged sword. On the one hand he was glad of the meals, but on the other he didn’t want any of the young women to get the wrong idea about marriage.

Ruby would put a stop to all of that. No more casseroles or fried chicken from the women and no more fending off mama’s foisting off their daughters at the church socials.

He looked around for Ruby among the other couples who spoke together quietly. She’d gone into the kitchen to help Mama, but she hadn’t come out with the rest of the females. Curious, he went into the kitchen.

She was stood by the counter, dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief.

Guilt stabbed at him. She’d obviously been crying.

“Ruby? What’s wrong? Are you upset about the marriage? I know it wasn’t what you’d probably dreamed your wedding would be like…”

“No. I’m fine. I’m not upset with the wedding. I’m very glad you married me. I guess I’m just a little homesick. I’ve never been away from home before.”

Huh? Gideon thought back to what he knew of her and cocked an eyebrow. “But I thought you’re a widow. When you were married you were away from your home.”

She stuffed her handkerchief up her sleeve and quickly amended her words. “I meant away from my husband. Before he died.”

“Ah, I understand. Look, my brothers and I have chores to do whether the snow is falling or not. I thought you and the other ladies could keep Mama company in the parlor until we return.”

Ruby nodded. “Certainly. I’d like to get to know your mother better.”

He stepped close and extended his crooked arm. “Good. May I escort you?”

“Sure. Uh, Gideon. How long before we are able to return to your home? I understand you live next to the church in Angel Springs.”

“Yes, that’s right.” It will be nice to have someone to talk to and share sermon ideas with. “As to returning, we have to wait for the snow to stop, then I’ll have Pete take us home in the sleigh, if possible.”

Ruby nodded. “I’m not a very good cook,” she blurted out.

Surprised by her outburst, Gideon took her hand. “I thought all women could cook, but it’s all right. I can cook passably well. Ask Mama for some of her recipes. Can you follow a recipe?”

“Yes, if I have one, I can follow it easily enough.”

“Good.” After tucking her hand into the crook of his elbow, he patted it. “We’ll do fine together Ruby. You’ll see.”


Cynthia Woolf is the award winning and best-selling author of sixteen historical western romance books and two short stories with more books on the way.

She loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and her great critique partners for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.


  • GIDEON – The Surprise Brides
  • MAIL ORDER OUTLAW – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 1
  • MAIL ORDER DOCTOR – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 2
  • MAIL ORDER BARON – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 3
  • NELLIE – The Brides of San Francisco 1
  • ANNIE – The Brides of San Francisco 2
  • CORA – The Brides of San Francisco 3
  • JAKE (Book 1, Destiny in Deadwood series)
  • LIAM (Book 2, Destiny in Deadwood series)
  • ZACH (Book 3, Destiny in Deadwood series)
  • CAPITAL BRIDE (Book 1, Matchmaker & Co. series)
  • HEIRESS BRIDE (Book 2, Matchmaker & Co. series)
  • FIERY BRIDE (Book 3, Matchmaker & Co. series)
  • TAME A WILD HEART (Book 1, Tame series)
  • TAME A WILD WIND (Book 2, Tame series)
  • TAME A WILD BRIDE (Book 3, Tame series)
  • TAME A SUMMER HEART (short story, Tame series)
  • TAME A HONEYMOON HEART (novella, Tame series)