Adding Real-life Legends to New Adventures in the Old West

~ by Jacqui Nelson

Whenever I thought of legendary lawmen like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp, my thoughts were full of daring deeds such as gunfights to uphold the law. But it was the revelation that Masterson was reported to have a wicked sense of humor that prompted me to include him in my novel, Between Love & Lies (Book 1 in the Gambling Hearts series).

BatMasterson-bwIt helped of course that my story was set in Dodge City (the Sin City of the 1870s) at a time when, if my hero Noah Ballantyne broke the law in Dodge, he’d definitely be meeting Bat Masterson…for better or worse.

Here’s what happens when Noah meets Bat Masterson in the Northern Star Saloon where there’s just been a deadly shootout…

dodgecity-1870s-Photograph Courtesy of Ford County Historical SocietyMasterson tugged the brim of his hat. His eyes crinkled at their corners as he returned Madam Garrett’s smile. “Pleasure’s all mine. Unfortunately this ain’t a social call.” The lawman’s face shuttered as he surveyed the other occupants of the room. His gaze lingered on Sadie’s prone form before coming to rest on Noah. “Heard tell a man got killed tonight.”

Noah had never been on the wrong side of the law before. He regretted that he’d ended a life, but if he had to do it all over again, he’d still pull the trigger. He’d save Sadie.

“By all accounts, the deceased was a cheat ’n abuser of one of our lady folk. However…” Masterson’s gaze narrowed, but his hands had yet to go anywhere near the pair of Colt revolvers resting in their silver-studded holsters. “Doling out punishment in Dodge is my business. So you’ll have to come with me. We need to discuss you…getting between me ’n my business.”

Jacqui Nelson writes historical romance adventures set in the American West. Her stories include an Oregon Trail scout, an ex-Rebel spy turned government rabble rouser and a Dodge City cardsharp gambling with love and death. Those are her heroines. Wait till you meet her heroes! Her love for the Old West came from watching classic Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm.

Visit her website at & connect with her on Facebook, Twitter & Goodreads

Jacqui’s books can be found on the Pioneer Hearts Book store by clicking here.

Between Love & Lies (Book 1 of the Gambling Hearts Series) can also be found on Amazon.

Join Jacqui’s monthly newsletter here for updates on book releases, contests, events & exclusive content.


The Bravery of Women

~ By Shanna Hatfield

I’ve always admired strong, brave women.

Trying to image how hard, how challenging, how utterly soul-wrenching life was for some of our pioneer grandmothers, it is almost beyond my ability to fathom. Believe me when I say I would not have been a good pioneer. I like electricity and an endless supply of steamy hot water too much to try it.

Leaving behind the familiar existence they knew, these women ventured into the west following their husbands, fulfilling requests as mail-order brides, or making their own way as enterprising entrepreneurs.

Because they have won my admiration and respect, I like to write about those types of women in my stories.

The Pendleton Petticoats series is set in the western town of Pendleton, Oregon, at the turn of the 20th century. Each book bears the name of the heroine, all brave yet very different.

During the period of 1900 through 1910, Pendleton experienced a boom in both population and modernization, making it the perfect setting for my series. Although many thought it was a Wild West town (which it was), it was also a very progressive town with a theater, opera house, French restaurant, and tearoom. Pendleton opened a telephone office in 1902 and was the second city in the state to install paved streets in 1904.

The people who inhabited the town were an eclectic mix from every background imaginable. In addition to the sheep growers, wheat farmers, and cattle ranchers who lived in the area, there was a substantial Chinese population. Miners, railroad workers, teamsters, harness makers, Indians from the nearby Umatilla Reservation, and business professionals could be seen walking down the streets of the town that billed itself “the queen of a golden empire – an empire of golden wheat.”

During the early 1900s, Pendleton also boasted 32 saloons and 18 bordellos, making it the “entertainment hub” of Eastern Oregon. The city had an enviable railroad station, designed to handle the burst of growth and export goods from the region including wheat, wool, cattle, and produce.

As I began writing the first book in this series, I envisioned a mail-order bride stepping off the train, completely unprepared for what awaited her. She expected the town to be quiet, dusty, and backward. What she found was something so entirely different than she anticipated, being a girl from Chicago who’d never set foot in a rural area.

She had to be strong and resilient, brave and determined (and maybe a little desperate) to get on that train in the first place.

I’ve often wondered, as a mail-order bride, what was harder – getting on the train and saying goodbye to what they knew or getting off the train to pledge their life to a man they’d never met.

Aundy, the main character (and namesake) of the first book in the series, knows she is physically strong and capable to work on her husband’s farm, but she has no idea of the depths of inner strength and fortitude she possesses until it is tested.

The second book in the series, Caterina, features a feisty Italian girl on the run from the mafia in New York City. Have you ever wondered how many women journeyed out west because they jumped on a train with nowhere else to go? Unlike Aundy who arrived in town as a mail-order bride, Caterina is free and unfettered – or as free as she can be, hunted by powerful men bent on vengeance.

Ilsa shines a light on one girl’s struggle to toss off the fetters of expectations placed upon her as she learns to believe in herself.

Marnie gives us a glimpse into the life of a working girl as she works to overcome the fears of her past so she can embrace the future (and a handsome U.S. Marshal).

And the latest release, Lacy, shows one woman’s struggle to choose between following tradition or following her heart.

Although these are all fictional stories pulled out of my overactive imagination, I like to think that they represent some of the challenges and hardships women faced as they helped shape communities, cities, the west, and our great nation through their determination and strength.

They truly were stronger than they knew and braver than they believed.


Excerpt from Aundy:

“You are one of the most stubborn, hard-headed women I’ve ever met, Aundy Erickson,” Garrett said, running a hand through his hair, sending the dark locks into a state of complete disarray. His movements made Aundy want to run her fingers through it as well. “Your ability to be self-sufficient would never come into question. If you need help, ask for it. We’re more than happy to give it. You’ve been through so much since you’ve arrived here and handled it all in stride. Growing up in the city, without any rural background, you’re going to need some help. Never hesitate to ask.”

“I know, but I’ve imposed on all of you too much as it is.” Aundy felt tears prick the backs of her eyes. She would not cry. Giving in to her emotions, as jumbled as they were, wouldn’t help prove she could care for herself and Erik’s farm. Her farm.

“You’ve never imposed on us. Ever.” Aundy was so obstinate. He couldn’t recall ever meeting such a stubborn, headstrong woman. She made him want to… Thinking about what he really wanted to do, he refocused his attention on why she went to the Underground. “Regardless of all that, what information were you hoping to find?”

“I wanted to buy something and no one would talk to me about it. Dressed as a man, I didn’t have a bit of trouble making the deal.”

“What did you buy?” Garrett tried to think of anything Aundy would have purchased in the Underground that could possibly be beneficial to the farm.

“I don’t think you’re going to like my answer.” Aundy didn’t want to tell Garrett about her sheep. He’d been quite vocal when she and J.B. were discussing the pros and cons of raising sheep the other day, about how much he disliked the “stinky little boogers,” as he referred to them.

“What did you do?” Garrett asked, pinning her with his silver gaze.

“I made arrangements with a man to buy something he wanted, quite desperately, to sell.”

Garrett’s patience was nearly exhausted. “Which was?”

She hesitated, taking a deep breath before answering. “Sheep.”

He let out a whoosh of air and sat back in his chair. Blinking his eyes twice, he was sure Aundy couldn’t have said what he thought she did.

“Did you say sheep?”

“Yes,” Aundy whispered, staring down at the cloth covering the table.

“Smelly, nasty, bleating little sheep?”

“Well, I don’t know about the smelly, nasty, or bleating part, but yes, I did agree to purchase sheep.”

“Woman! What are you thinking? Did you sign papers, make payment? Is the deal final?”

“Not yet. Mr. O’Connell was under the impression I was helping a new widow. I asked him to call Mrs. Erickson Monday morning to make arrangements for the sale.”

“O’Connell? The whiskey drinking Irishman? Why he’ll…” Garrett yelled, his eyes flashing fire.

Aundy reached across the table and clapped a hand across his mouth. “Shh. You’ll have Dent and the boys in here if you don’t quiet down. Not only should you not be here, especially with me dressed like this, but I’m not quite ready to impart the knowledge to them that we’ll soon be raising sheep.”

“Fred will quit.” Garrett stated a fact Aundy already knew. He’d made it perfectly clear that he had no interest in tending sheep, so it was a gamble she had to make.

“I’ve taken that possibility into consideration.”

“Did you also take into consideration that a lot of the neighbors around here hate sheep? Not just dislike them, but hate them. I know many people in the area raise sheep, but our neighbors are all wheat growers and cattlemen. If you think about it, there isn’t one little lamb to be found from here all the way to Pendleton.


What do you think life would have been like as a mail order bride? If it was 1901 and you were desperate to change your life, could you respond to an advertisement for a bride and travel to the “wild west” to become a stranger’s wife? What do you think would be the hardest thing about life then? What do you think would be the most fun?

Join Shanna at her upcoming Facebook party, 2nd Annual Cowboys & Christmas Release Party, on November 12th from 10 am – 2 pm PST.

Help kick start the second annual promotion to raise funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund! Celebrate the release of Capturing Christmas (Rodeo Romance Book 3) and The Christmas Vow (Hardman Holidays Book 4)!
Giveaways, Games, Guest Authors, and Fun!
(Remember, the party runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific Time)


Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her bestselling sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.

When she isn’t writing or consuming copious amounts of chocolate, Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Find Shanna’s books at the Pioneer Hearts Books store on Amazon as well as:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

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

ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Newsletter | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter


How My World Shapes My Writing

~ By Paty Jager

Visit Paty at her upcoming Holiday Party on
Sunday, November 8th
4:00 – 6:00 pm PST

I’ve dabbled in different venues of writing over the course of my lifetime. First as a child writing plays for stuffed animals, then at thirteen writing stories of love and lust that my friends and I passed back and forth adding scenes, to witnessing what words can do when an English teacher read one of my assigned fiction projects to the class. As an adult, I wrote children’s stories for my kids, wrote murder mystery when I wanted to kill someone (killed that person off in two manuscripts), wrote for the local paper when it fit my lifestyle, and then to finally settling into writing historical western romance.

Each stage of my writing had to do with what was going on in and around me at the time so it only makes sense that I find myself writing about history—American History, specifically the 1800’s, has always been my favorite subject. I love museums, historical sites, and finding bits of history that were so integral to life when this country was spreading and growing.

I think having grown up in a semi-isolated part of the state that was slow to get technology, it brought out the pioneer spirit in me. Until I was twelve, my paternal grandparents lived with us. There were seven people in a three bedroom, one bath farmhouse. We had a woodshed where we chopped kindling and stored the wood for the cookstove. When we did get an electric range we still had a wood heating stove and used the wood cookstove when the power went out which was fairly often. When the power went out we used kerosene and oil lamps, the outhouse, and hauled buckets of water to the house from the ditch. Looking back, it was usually in the winter that the power went out. And on many occasions the pipes from the well to the house froze, and we had to haul water to use for cooking and cleaning.

My family had a small herd of dairy cows and used an old hand crank separator to separate the milk from the cream. We used the milk for ourselves and the hogs we raised. We made our own butter from the cream and sold the rest to the creamery. We raised 100 chickens every year, butchering all but thirty, which were laying hens. I hated the smell of the wet feathers after you dunked them in the boiling water to loosen the feathers. And disemboweling them and cutting them up—I’d always offer to fold clothes, clean the bathroom, or whatever other chore I could think of than spend hours smelling the feathers and butchered chickens. My grandmother sold extra eggs to neighbors and the local grocery store.

These are all events in my life that easily happened in the era that I write about. I can feel the heat of the woodstove, hear the clank of the metal plates as grandma put more kindling in the fire. Smell the acrid smoke that slipped through the chimney that went through my bedroom. I more or less lived the life I write about in my historical westerns.

My first historical western romance, Marshal in Petticoats, starts off an 8 book series about the Halsey brothers and the young people who come into their lives. Also available in October is A Husband for Christmas: Shaylas’ Story a novella that I hope brigs all the Halseys together one last time and leaves the reader feeling happy.

Marshal in Petticoats is FREE.

After accidentally shooting a bank robber, Darcy Duncan becomes marshal of a town as accident prone as herself. Darcy’s taken care of her younger brother the last five years, and she’s not about to take orders from a corrupt mayor or a handsome drifter, whose curiosity could end her career as a marshal and take away their security.

Gil Halsey arrives in Galena looking for his boss’s son turned outlaw. Getting the young man back to the ranch will seal the foreman’s job. When he discovers the town’s new marshal is a passionate woman with high regard for family, he turns to protecting her. Darcy reunites him with his estranged family as they romp through gold country after outlaws.

Marshal in Petticoats Cover small (432x640) Outlaw in Petticoats Final Final Miner in Petticoats Claiming a Heart (865x1280) Logger in Petticoats FINAL

Doctor in Petticoats (2) (427x640) Staking Claim (405x600) Laying Claim Cover A Husband For Christmas (338x500)

The order of the books in the series:

  • Marshal in Petticoats – Gil’s story
  • Outlaw in Petticoats – Zeke’s story
  • Miner in Petticoats – Ethan’s story
  • Doctor in Petticoats – Clay’s story
  • Logger in Petticoats – Hank’s story
  • Laying Claim- A Halsey Homecoming – Jeremy’s story
  • Staking Claim – A Halsey Homecoming – Colin’s story
  • Claiming a Heart- A Halsey Homecoming – Donny’s story
  • A Husband for Christmas – A Halsey Homecoming – Shayla’s Story

    Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; her website; or her newsletter.  Paty’s books can be found on the Pioneer Hearts Book Store on Amazon.

45=50 ~ What Does That Mean?

Teaser Tuesday Alert!

Rumor has it…an author has interpreted 45=50 for us readers! See below for a sooper sekrit tell-all…but shhh! We don’t want to upset the Kween.

I’ve heard all the rumors, and I bet you have as well! I hear that forty-five authors got together to work on a project completely unprecedented in publishing history. Did you hear that?

Well, I’m here to tell you—it’s true! We really did it! What did we do? Well, that I can’t tell you. You see, this project is something we call “sooper seekrit” and that means no one can know exactly what it is until we announce it. And we’re going to announce it—when we feel like it.

When will we feel like it? That’s the real question, right? We’re going to be ready to talk all about it—gushing like only authors can gush about projects that excite them—at 7:00 pm Eastern time on November first.

Yes, I know it’s still two weeks away, and you’re curious. Good! We’ve kept this under wraps for six months, and it’s been hard to keep the seekrit. Very hard. If we can keep a seekrit of this caliber for that long, you can wait a couple of weeks to hear about it, right? I thought so!

Join us for our “Sooper Seekrit Project Reveal Party” from 7:00-9:00 pm EST on November 1st. Click on this Sooper Sekrit Party Link to join the fun.  I promise, you won’t regret it!

Sorry, fellow readers, I tried. These authors are keeping a tight lid on this crazy new math equation!

Introducing Lynda J. Cox

In another place and time, I’d be insane. Or, maybe, in this time and place, I am insane.

I’m often asked where the ideas come from for my stories, and I can honestly say that I don’t have a clue. It’s frightening what will spark a story idea. When I first got the idea for The Devil’s Own Desperado, I was trying to write a 20 to 25 page critical introduction to my creative project (a fantasy romance novel) for my master’s degree. I remember I was sitting in my office at the university where I not only attended master’s classes, but I also supervised the Writing Center. I was staring longingly at a poster of my favorite place on earth—the Medicine Bow Range in Wyoming—and Toby Keith’s “I Should Have Been a Cowboy” was playing on the radio. Colt popped into my head, fully formed. He was hand in hand with Amy, and wouldn’t go away. I joke that it’s hard to say “no” to a man with a revolver strapped down low, but it’s not really a joke. I made a deal with my Muse that if She would let me work on the critical introduction for an hour, I would write their story for an hour. The first hour I spent writing Colt and Amy’s story saw almost 2500 words completed. It took me a month and a half to complete the first draft and the first place I sent it to—The Wild Rose Press—offered me a contract.

Smolder on a Slow Burn was a nightmare. Literally. It began life as a contemporary romantic suspense novel that was born of a reoccurring nightmare. The same nightmare, several times a night, night after night. When a writing friend remarked that I looked exhausted, I told her that I’d been having the same nightmare every night for almost a week. She asked about it. I told her that in this horrifying dream, even though I wasn’t the person driving the car, I could feel her absolute terror, her choking panic, and her desperation. And, just for grins and giggles, the passenger in the car was slumped against the door with a bullet hole in his chest. My friend told me until I wrote their story, I was going to continue to have this dream. If I remember it rightly, I told her I didn’t want to know what their story was and I sure as heck wasn’t writing it.

What’s that line about famous last words? After a few more nights of waking screaming, I threw my hands up and started asking those questions every writer asks. Once I’d established the who, the where, the when, the why and the what the H***, their story fell into place. In a little under two weeks, I had a 70K word manuscript—which then sat in a box. Yes, a box—because this was in the days when I only had a used Brother typewriter.

For almost twenty years that manuscript sat in a box. And then three years ago, I decided to try NaNoWriMo. The original story was so dated, it could have passed as an historical. I started puttering around with ideas to update it. I played around with the “What If” game. What if I made it into a real historical romance? What if my hero…what if my heroine… I tossed them onto a train in the middle of Nebraska that was going in the right direction—AWAY and started writing. When I got to A.J.’s first real line of dialogue, when in full snark mode he suggests to Allison that she not make it a habit of missing the train, I knew it was going to work. The two characters who have remained with me all this time were still there.

I have no idea where the ideas come from. I say it’s The Muse. Other people might suggest I’m insane. We’re both right.

Visit Lynda at the Pioneer Hearts Book Store on Amazon!

Certain she was born about 150 years too late and in the wrong part of the country, Lynda J. Cox can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to live in the Old West. Short of inventing a time machine, she’s settled for writing romances set in the wide open spaces of what was then the Wyoming Territory. With a love of writing and history, she combined both into a double major in English and history and continued on to a master’s degree in English.

When she isn’t writing, she can often be found on the road, traveling to the next dog show. Those long road trips allow her to plot out her novels.

You can contact Lynda on Facebook by searching for Lynda J. Cox. She loves to talk about writing, books, dogs, and horses.  Lynda also has a blog entitled Musings from the Keyboard.

Does Your Husband Beat You? ‘Cause You Can’t Make this Up

~ by Heather Blanton

Recently a friend asked me in a gentle tone, “How do you come up with all these really bad bad guys?” While her voice was soft, her eyes all but shouted, “Does Carl beat you?”

No, my husband has never laid a hand on me in violence. He’s not that stupid. So how do I write my villains so life-like?

For one thing, I’ve learned God doesn’t let any experience go to waste.

Take my first fistfight. I can clearly recall the day a snarky little redhead shoved me and told me to mind my own business (whilst four of her buddies surrounded my friend). I did not like the odds. I did not like watching my friend back away in fear. I especially, however, did not like being shoved. I reacted in a most un-Christian way and slugged the snarky little redhead, who then attempted to pull all my perfect Farrah-Fawcetty hair from my head. Another punch to her gut cured her of that notion. The bullies exited stage left. I think about this fight (and a few others) when I write such scenes.

A former journalist, I also love research. I frequently read hundred year-old newspapers. I’ve actually held in my hand a ransom note written by a bandit in 1878. Why, I still have my 1982 copy of Bloodletters and Badmen by Jay Robert Nash, an encyclopedia of murderous wackadoodles. Villains scream to be noticed. And they should be. The darker the villain, the more our heroes and heroines shine.

Furthermore, knowing that people are capable of anything has made me an observer. I watch the way the cop keeps glancing at the restaurant’s door. I listen to the conversations behind me in the grocery store check-out line. I see the glances that pass between the boy on the pew and the girl seated in front of him. I notice the unkempt fellow wandering aimlessly about the park.

My point is we writers pull from our past experiences to create a world that feels like reality. We do research so that we can add depth and richness to it. We observe our neighbors because odd little idiosyncrasies can be endearing … or horrifying.

I strive toward developing the ability to so seamlessly weave together the realms of reality and fantasy that neither I nor the reader can tell where one world ends and the other begins. The fictional world envelopes us, and we’re lost for a time.

… But some folks would just call that crazy.

Check out all of Heather’s amazing books at the Pioneer Hearts Book Store

“I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is … and God loves us anyway.” -Heather Blanton

I wrote my first story when I was five: a ghost story, of all things. Over the years, I’ve worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines, but fiction fell by the wayside. When I lost my older sister Suzy to breast cancer in 1999, I wrote a novel as a way to deal with the pain … and memorialize her. The character of Hannah from my Defiance series is based on my sister and her amazing journey from unwed teenage mother to mighty woman of God.

I self-published that first book, A Lady in Defiance, in 2012. My goal was to sell 200 copies for my Relay for Life team. A Lady wound up selling over 8000 copies that year! Ironically, during this same time period, this book made it all the way to the contract meeting at a major Christian publisher. The company turned me down because my sales projections were too low. Second toughest moment of my life, but, clearly, God had an amazing a plan for me!

I grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne Westerns. My most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to my daddy, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

Now, I live with my husband and two adventurous boys on a farm outside Raleigh, NC.

You know, a lot of authors spend time blogging about how to write, when to write, what to write. They earn extra income editing, critiquing, speaking at writers conferences, etc. They enter contests b/c accolades from our peers are so wonderful and affirming. But I decided a while back that I don’t really care about all that. Or, more precisely, other writers are not my first priority. YOU are. I write for you; I write what I hope you would want to read. I hire editors because you deserve as good a product as I can turn out. I pray because I want my books to bless you and glorify God. So, thank you, everyone, for your support! I am humbled and grateful!

Spirited Hearts

A Story Is Born – By Ruby Merritt

A common question for authors is where do you get the ideas for your stories? I’m sure the answers vary as much as the authors do. I for one get my stories from a question that pops into my head. Yep, one little question. Then I’m off and running, I mean, writing.

In the first book of my Spirited Hearts series, Ella’s Choice, the question was, “What if a white woman, who has lived with the Lakota Indians for ten years, suddenly finds herself back in white man’s world?” Now, the question of Indian captives returning to the white man’s world has fascinated me for years. One of my favorite true accounts of such a scenario is the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped by the Comanche as a young girl and lived among them for almost twenty-five years. I have always craved more details about how she felt coming back to a world whose ways were almost foreign to her. Unfortunately, very few details from her perspective exist, mostly because she was devastated to be separated from her Comanche husband and children and quite uncommunicative. So, finally, I decided to write my own version of the Cynthia Ann Parker story, but of course with a happily ever after. Thus Ella Hastings, known as Little Brave among the Lakota, was born along with Beech Richoux, a half Lakota, half French Army Scout who himself grapples with balancing between his two worlds.

With my second Spirited Hearts book, Lena’s Courage, my question was, “What if a woman was suddenly faced with the man who violently stole her innocence years earlier?” Certainly this is not an easy topic to tackle, but I wanted to show how a woman could find the courage and tenacity to face such a situation, particularly in 1870s Cheyenne, Wyoming. And that answer came to me in one word: family. Lena would do anything to protect the son she loves with all her heart, although he was the result of the heinous act. Of course, she’s not alone in this endeavor. Lucas Kline is an ambitious young lawyer whose painful past and thirst for justice have him fighting vigilantism as a solution over legal and lawful means. Through the quest to make their community safe for all once more, Lena and Lucas find their happily ever after together.

The question for my third Spirited Hearts book, Grace’s Purpose, is a topic for another post, but I will say the story is slated to release next year. I have plans for two more books in the series, but really, who knows how many. As long as questions keep popping into my head, I’ll keep writing.

Visit Ruby at the Pioneer Hearts Books Store on Amazon by clicking here.

Lena’s Courage is now available on Amazon


Head ShotRuby Merritt writes historical western romance. Her passion for imagining life and love on the High Plains has its roots in reading and rereading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books as a child.

Although Ruby doesn’t call the High Plains her home, she resides in an equally beautiful and rustic locale, The Gateway to the Texas Hill Country.

When Ruby’s not reading or writing, she can be found riding her horse or homeschooling her children, who are avid horsewomen and readers as well.

Visit Ruby online at one of the following sites:

Courting the West: A Boxed Set of Ten Western Romances

An exciting new boxed set release of ten western romances is available – grab it while you can!

NYT, USA Today and Bestselling authors bring you ten Western romance novels featuring sexy cowboys and sultry heroines. This boxed set is loaded with a variety of sweet to steamy romances designed to entice your senses and warm your heart.

Get your copy at a special .99¢ New Release Price!!

Amazon US
Amazon UK
B&N Nook
Apple iBooks

And, join the authors Debra Holland, Kirsten Osbourne, Lily Graison, Cynthia Woolf, Jacquie Rogers, Sylvia McDaniel, Paty Jager, Merry Farmer, Keta Diablo, and Caroline Clemmons at a fun Facebook party on Thursday, October 15 from 7:30 – 9:30 pm CST.

Join the Facebook party here!

Silver Belles and Stetsons – Cowboys of the Past and the Women Who Loved Them

I’m so Excited to be part of the Christmas Anthology – Silver Belles and Stetsons ~ by Kathleen Ball

I was invited to be in the Christmas boxed set and I’m honored to be among such great writers-

Silver Belles and Stetsons – Ten Western Romance Christmas Novellas by Amazon bestselling and Award-Winning Authors Available as a boxed set for a limited time.

Pre-Order on Amazon

Bestselling and Award-winning authors bring you ten western romance novellas featuring alpha-cowboys from the past. This boxed set will take you back in time when men were rugged and handsome and the women who loved them courageous and daring.

The Greatest Gift: A Montana Cowboy Christmas by Kathleen Ball. Amazon Bestselling and Award- Wining Author. Looking for the man who ran out on her, Ginger finds a cowboy worthy of love but he doesn’t want or need love.

Catherine’s Cowboy by Cait Braxton, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. During a supernatural dust storm, Fate steps in when rugged army tracker Elam helps Catherine deliver her child.

Stone Mountain Christmas by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can Celia restore the town’s Christmas spirit? “A beautifully written story about love and hope and all the emotions Christmas brings out in people.” Karren Lucas

Angel and the Texan from County Cork by Carra Copelin. Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Does Angel trust marriage to the man she suspects of killing her husband or the stranger who promises to pay off her debt and set her free if she decides their marriage of convenience won’t work?

The Drifter’s Proposal by Kristin Holt, Amazon Bestselling Author.

The Perfect Gift by Lyn Horner, Award-winning author. Friendship has blossomed into young love, but it seems destined to die on the vine…until an unexpected Christmas gift promises happiness.

Marshal Mistletoe by Susan Horsnell. She married the wrong man. Will fate intervene?

Christmas Redemption by Paty Jager, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives? “A story of forgiveness that has a wonderful hero who has worked hard to redeem himself.”

A Hard Candy Christmas by Hebby Roman, Amazon Bestselling Author. Two damaged souls. Can their budding love and the healing power of Christmas bring them together?

Christmas Cowboy by Margaret Tanner. Will a miracle Christmas baby unite two tortured souls, or will it forever keep them apart?

Join the Authors At the Facebook Release Party

Blog copied from Cowboy Kisses BlogSpot by permission.

Visit the Cowboy Kisses BlogSpot for great western blogs and historical information.

Meet Penny Estelle

Jesse's FindJesse’s Find, Book One of the Jesse’s Series

On his way home from a cattle drive Jesse Mason finds an infant and a woman, who has been shot. What are they doing out in the middle of the Kansas plains, miles from any town, and who wants them dead?


  • This short story had all the qualities of a full novel. I don’t usually like short stories, but this one made me rethink myself.  I got caught up in Jesse and Ginny’s story that was full of emotion, sadness, surprises and second chances with a growing romance. Jesse’s and Ginny’s characters were well defined and you could see the strong love and heart these two had for life, baby Sarah, and each other. I didn’t need to see what they looked like on the outside because what was on their inside came through loud an clear.  I am looking forward to reading the next book (short story), Jesse’s Nightmare! 
  • This is a quick read romantic book. I shed a few tears and was entertained by the book. A book that has a strong and gentle cowboy along with a maiden in trouble is always a winner. 
  • Very good story, I think everyone will like it. I liked the sensitivity and emotions portrayed. The ending is just perfect. It ties up all the loose ends in the story. I remember reading this book a long time ago. It still was worth a second read.

Visit Penny in the Pioneer Hearts Books store


Her expression was guarded as he approached. “Who are you?” she asked.

“Jesse Mason. I found you a few days back, about a mile from here.”

The girl scanned the room, as if looking for something. “Can…can I please talk to your wife?”

Jesse stiffened. “I don’t have a wife.”

She took another step back. “But…but the baby, and someone changed my clothes.”

Jesse’s Find – $0.99 on Amazon


Penny Estelle is a best-selling writer for all ages, from the early reader to adults. Her books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy and time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. She also, under P. A. Estelle, has written adult stories including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances.

Penny was a school secretary for 21 years. She and her husband moved to their retirement home in Kingman, AZ, on very rural 54 acres, living on solar and wind only.

Penny and her books can be found in the following links:

Amazon Author Page