Catching Up with Peggy L. Henderson

Today we’re catching up with the brilliant Peggy L. Henderson, author of the fabulous Yellowstone Romance Series. Peggy has been described by her fans as “the J.K. Rowling of Yellowstone”. The visual descriptions in her books are stunning, the romance is sensuous and her time travel stories are on fire!  Many people might turn away at the words time travel, but if you’ve not tried these books, this reader strongly suggests that you are missing out on an extremely well-written, historical western romance series with a hybrid twist!


Peggy’s new release, Yellowstone Legacy, released on July 12th, and her devoted fans are commenting that their heads exploded with all the twists and turns revealed in the pages within.

“What we think we know may be completely different…”

Nurse Michaela Stephens has led a quiet, ordinary life, limited by restrictions and fear of making mistakes. When she is accused of wrongdoing on the job, escaping to the wilds of Montana seems like the best way to overcome her insecurities. What she thought she left behind is about to come back to haunt her in ways she never expected.

As a descendant of the guardians of ancient Yellowstone, Matunaaga has waited a long time to discover his destiny. Content and secure in his life, he is guided by a sense of duty and obligation to help ensure the future preservation of the sacred mountains. He’s ready to do just about anything to fulfill his role, except the one thing his vision requires of him.
When Mat is thrust into the world he gladly left behind as a boy, the woman from his vision is the only one who can help him find his way. Michaela must learn to set aside her fears, while Mat seeks to convince her of the truth she tries to deny. With forces at work to tear them apart, trust and love may be the key to survival as Mat and Michaela seek to protect the future generations guarding Yellowstone.

***Content warning: This book contains mild language, mild violence, and intimacy between consenting adults. Heat rating 3 out of 5, PG13

***While Yellowstone Legacy is a complete romance between the two central characters in this novel, certain events that happened in prior books in the series come into play in Yellowstone Legacy. For better enjoyment and understanding of this story, it is recommended that you are familiar with at least the following titles: Yellowstone Heart Song, Yellowstone Deception, and Yellowstone Origins.


Thanks for joining us today, Peggy!

Q. Why Yellowstone National Park? What drew you to that area?

I went on my first-ever camping trip the summer after my high school graduation, with then-future Mr. H. We went to Yellowstone, and I absolutely fell in love with the area.  From reading westerns (by a German author who had never been to the US, writing westerns set in the US), I was already fascinated with all things Wyoming, Montana, Rocky Mountains and mountain men, but that trip just solidified my love for the wild and beautiful Rockies, and Yellowstone especially. There’s just something so timeless and magical there, it’s hard to describe. Ever since that first trip, we’ve been back almost every year.

Q. How many more books (at this time) will be in the Yellowstone Romance Series?
(Note: currently 7 books, 3 novellas, 1 short story and 1 cross-over book with Teton series)

I have one more full-length planned in the series (Book 8 – Yellowstone Legends), and there’s another novella swirling around in my head, but who knows? The first book was supposed to be a standalone, then it was supposed to end with a sequel, then Book 4 was the end, then Book 5 was the absolute last one….

The Yellowstone characters cross over into the Teton books and vice versa, and they will also appear in the Wilderness Brides series.

Q. I’ve been told that authors write a little bit of themselves into each book. Which heroine is most like you? Is any hero most like Mr. Henderson?

From the Yellowstone books, the heroine most like me has to be Riley from Yellowstone Origins –book nerd and science geek, and a complete klutz. I’m also a lot like quiet Jana from Deception, but I don’t think I could hold it together the way she did in her story.

Mr. H is a little bit in all of the heroes, I think – he’s very outdoorsy, which all of the heroes are, and he’s the one who got me started with the great outdoors, like so many of the heroes teach the heroines in the books. He’s my best friend and he challenges me, and accepts me the way I am (just like all the heroes in my books relate to their heroines)

Q. How do you decompress once you’ve released a book? The pressure is hopefully off of you now, so how do you reconnect with Peggy?

I think the pressure is greater once the book is released, at least for the first week or so. It’s always a scary thing to set a new book free. It’s the same with every release. There’s definitely pressure during the writing process, but the worst is around release time. I’m not sure I really decompress once a book is done. I’m mainly trying to leave the world behind that I just finished writing about, and try and get into the heads of a new set of characters for the next story. That usually takes a few days or a week, because it’s sometimes hard to let go after spending weeks and months with one set of characters.

I joked after my last release – Cora’s Pride in March (which happened to be a few days before we went camping) that I really need to make going camping after a book release a tradition. That didn’t happen this time, but it would be a great way to re-connect with me!

Q. What is do you miss about Germany (or that you love going back to)?

The thing I miss most about Germany (and I haven’t been back in a long time, although my brother and his family live there) is the small town I lived in. Moving to the suburbs of Los Angeles was major culture shock for me, and even after all these years, I still miss the small farming town I grew up in.  And seasons…I definitely miss seasons.

Q. Have you ever thought about moving from California and getting closer to the mountains and the rivers that obviously speak to you?

Every.Single.Day… and I’m working on making that a reality soon.

Q. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

I don’t know who said it, and it’s a simple quote, but it’s always stuck with me: “Bark less, Wag more.” And this one: “Of all the roads you take, make sure one of them is dirt.”

Q. Tell us about the writing assistant. How old is he? How does he guard the notebook best?

The Writing Assistant is my 16 year old orange ball of fur. He was a feral kitten I caught when he was about 5 weeks old, along with his mama. We had her spayed, and her kitten came to live in the house with us, and he decided that was a pretty great place to be.

He has the important job of being my arm rest when I write, and he sleeps on the notebook (which contains my hand written notes and plot lines for my books) He is easily bribed with catnip and canned cat food.

Q. What is the strangest request (or gift) you’ve ever received from a fan?

I don’t think I’ve ever received any strange requests or gifts that I can remember. There have been requests for stories or unsolicited ideas, but nothing that really stands out.

I’ve received some awesome (not in the least bit strange) gifts from readers – paintings of the Lower Falls in Yellowstone and the Tetons, quilts with Yellowstone theme, and a pillow case, and a really great piece of art wall hanging.  On canvas, the fan put together a collage of pins and charms and various other miniature items that represented things from the Yellowstone stories, and she put it together in the shape of an arrowhead. It is such a neat and very personal piece of artwork!


Peggy never thought she’d be a writer, much less publish a book someday. She always wanted to be a veterinarian but life had other plans for her. When she and her husband decided to start a family, vet school pretty much went out the window. Peggy used to work with a vet who had three children while going through vet school. To this day, that woman is her hero.

Peggy was born and raised in Germany, but long before her family immigrated to the U.S., she was fascinated with the American West. Peggy grew up on german-dubbed episodes of Little House, Gunsmoke, and Bonanza, as well as the adventure novels set in the old American West by German author, Karl May.

Married to her high school sweetheart, and together with their two sons, Peggy and her husband currently make their home in Southern California. The family also includes a Labrador Retriever, a welsh pony, a miniature horse, three cats, four bearded dragons, and a flock of laying hens. Almost every summer since she graduated from high school, Peggy and her husband spend two weeks camping in Yellowstone National Park.

Peggy can be found on Facebook in her group, Between the Lines with Peggy L. Henderson.  Sign up for her mailing list at http://eepurl.com/vYhPf.  Follow Peggy’s blog at http://peggylhenderson.blogspot.com/.  Peggy’s books can also be found in the Pioneer Hearts bookstore on Amazon.

Christmas Caring: A Christmas Charity Short Story Anthology

Have you heard about the Christmas Caring: A Christmas Charity Short Story Anthology? It’s the perfect gift for the readers in your life because it’s the gift that keeps on giving and supports an absolutely wonderful cause!

This anthology, full of fun Christmas short stories by bestselling writers and new-comers alike, is bound to get you into the Christmas spirit. It includes twenty-four short stories by David Farland, Kevin J. Anderson, Debra Holland, Kirsten Osbourne, Peggy L Henderson, Lorena Dove, L.L. Muir, CS Martin, Linda Hubalek, CJ Samuels, Carra Copelin, Margery Scott, Janelle Daniels, Ray Anselmo, Marie Piper, Caroline Lee, Sam Knight, Kit Morgan, Margaret Tanner, Rain Trueax, Kirsten Lynn, Jaclyn Weist, Jenna Eatough, and Patricia “PacJac” Carroll.

Read more about this wonderful cause and charity below, as I spoke with Kirsten Osbourne about the project~

How did the idea for a Christmas Caring Charity come about?

I was chatting on Friday night, the eleventh of December, with Jenna Eatough, a friend who had recently won first place in a short story contest for her Christmas story. Jenna was trying to figure out what she could do with that short story. I suggested we do an anthology, because I had a Christmas short story sitting around as well, and it relates to my Brides of Beckham series, but I didn’t want to publish something quite so short on its own. So we both, separately, started to recruit people.

How did you go about recruiting other authors?

I posted in the author group for Pioneer Hearts, thinking someone might have a short story sitting on the shelf that would work. Somehow, that simple question, was taken as a writing challenge—something to stretch “writing muscles.” Authors were given a deadline of noon on Monday, a mere three days later. I thought they’d clean up a story they already had and submit that. But, no, people started writing.

How many authors were you able to recruit?

Between Jenna and I, we were able to “draft” twenty-two other people into the anthology. Lorena Dove kindly offered to format the book, which took some of the weight off my shoulders. I contacted my cover artist, Erin Dameron-Hill, and we got started.

And, the proceeds from the anthology go directly to charity?

Yes, the authors generously supported their share of the proceeds going to my favorite charity, Mission Arlington.

NOTE: As a reader, this blogger knows that authors are a generous group of individuals. Free books, prizes, and charity – authors are always willing to support those in need. If you have never been in need, consider yourself blessed. The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” still applies today and we are blessed to have charities available to meet an ever-growing need.

What is Mission Arlington?

Mission Arlington is a charity I’ve volunteered with and supported for years. They provide aid in every way imaginable for people who need it. They’ve provided cars, appliances, financial aid, etc. They have a huge food bank and “clothing store.” I’ve truly never seen anything like it.

What do you like most about Mission Arlington?

My favorite thing they do is provide Christmas for needy children. They service tens of thousands of children every year with their Christmas store. I was blessed to be part of it one year, and it truly overwhelmed me. Every parent gets to “shop” in a store, choosing gifts for all children under the age of eighteen. They even help wrap the gifts. It’s a beautiful thing.


Thank you, Kirsten Osbourne, for answering my questions about the new anthology and Mission Arlington.

If you haven’t picked up Christmas Caring: A Christmas Charity Short Story Anthology, what are you waiting for? It’s the perfect gift for the readers in your life because it’s the gift that keeps on giving and supports an absolutely wonderful cause!

Don’t forget, all proceeds from this anthology will be donated to Mission Arlington, a charity which helps the needy, including assisting with rent, utilities, clothing, food, doctor, and dental. It also provides Christmas gifts for tens of thousands of children every year. For Thanksgiving, 2015, they served 27,000 people.

 

The National Park Idea

My name is Peggy L Henderson, and I am the author of several time travel romance series set in the American West, as well as some western historical romances. I love Yellowstone – it’s beauty, diversity, and history. There is just no place like it on earth. It’s what inspired me to write my first series, the Yellowstone Romance Series. Romance and adventure is set against the backdrop of this magical place that is often called Wonderland. Amidst action, adventure, and plenty of romance, the series takes the reader through my fictional account of how Yellowstone National Park went from an unknown wilderness to becoming the first national park.

Yellowstone National Park, the nation, in fact, the world’s first national park, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.

If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone, and sat at one of the Ranger campfire programs at Madison Junction, the ranger will almost always point behind him or her, to a tall mountain across the valley. The mountain is named National Park Mountain, and legend has it that this is where the national park idea was born. It is said that Henry Washburn, Nathaniel Langford, and Cornelius Hedges camped in the valley just beneath the mountain during their expedition through the area in 1870, and came up with the grand idea of preserving the wonders they saw – the geysers, hot springs, canyons, rivers and lakes – for everyone to enjoy for generations to come. They wanted the area set aside as a nation’s park.

Whether this conversation actually occurred, and in that precise location, is up for debate, but it makes for a nice campfire story. So what did lead to the birth of the national park idea?

Lewis and Clark, during their expedition in 1805, missed the area that is now the famous Yellowstone National Park. In 1806, John Colter, who was part of the expedition, set out with a group of fur trappers, and some historical accounts say he is the first white man to have seen the area and its geysers. He described a place of “hell and brimstone” that most people dismissed as delirium. Those who heard of his tales called this imaginary place “Colter’s Hell.”

Over the years, more fur trappers entered the Rocky Mountains, and more and more reports found their way back to civilization of a place with boiling mud, steaming rivers, and petrified trees. These fantastical stories were believed to be just that – men’s tall tales who had been in the wilderness too long.

In 1856, mountain man Jim Bridger reported observing boiling springs, spouting water, and a mountain of glass and yellow rock. But since Bridger had a reputation as a “spinner of yarn,” his reports were also ignored.

The first detailed exploration of the Yellowstone area came in 1869, when three privately funded explorers trekked through what is now the park. The members of the Folsom party kept detailed records and journals, and based on their information, a group of Montana residents organized the Washburn/Langford/Doane Expedition of 1870. Henry Washburn was surveyor-general of Montana at the time.

The group included Nathaniel Langford, who later would be known as “National Park Langford.” They spent a month exploring the region, collecting specimens, and naming sites of interest (Old Faithful, anyone?) Another member of the group, lawyer Cornelius Hedges, proposed that the region should be set aside and protected as a national park. Other prominent men also made similar suggestions that “Congress pass a bill reserving the Great Geyser Basin as a public park forever.”

In 1871, Dr. Ferdinand Hayden, a geologist, organized the first government-sponsored exploration of the region. The Hayden Geological Survey of 1871 included numerous scientists, as well as photographer William Henry Jackson, and artist Thomas Moran. Together, they compiled a comprehensive report on Yellowstone, which helped convince Congress to withdraw the region from public auction. The Act of Dedication Law was signed by the President Uysses S. Grant on March 1st, 1872.

The Act of Dedication

An Act to set apart a certain tract of land lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone River as a public park. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the tract of land in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming …. is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people; and all persons who shall locate, or settle upon, or occupy the same or any part thereof, except as hereinafter provided, shall be considered trespassers and removed there from…Approved March 1, 1872.

Yellowstone Heart Song, Yellowstone Romance Series Book One:

Nurse and avid backpacker Aimee Donovan is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. She encounters a patient who tells her he can send her two hundred years into the past to spend three months in the rugged Yellowstone wilderness at the dawn of the mountain man era. The only requirement: she cannot tell anyone that she’s from the future.

How did a white woman suddenly appear in the remote Rocky Mountain wilderness? Trapper Daniel Osborne’s first instinct is to protect this mysterious and unconventional woman from the harsh realities of his mountains. While he fights his growing attraction to her, he is left frustrated by her lies and secrecy.

Daniel shows Aimee a side of Yellowstone she’s never experienced. She is torn between her feelings for him, and exposing a secret that will destroy everything he holds as truth. As her three months come to an end, she is faced with a dilemma: return to her own time, or stay with the man who opened her eyes to a whole new world. When the decision is made for her, both their lives will be changed forever.

Peggy’s books can be found on the Pioneer Hearts Books store on Amazon.

Excerpt from Yellowstone Heart Song

For the better part of the morning, Daniel led her through the forest.  He showed her how to read different tracks, signs to look out for that an animal had been in the area, where to look for edible roots and plants, and how to watch the skies for changes in the weather. Along with the berries, she filled her backpack with mint, wild onions, licorice, and various other roots and plants.

She listened attentively as she tried to absorb everything Daniel told her. Some things she already knew, others were completely new to her. The subtle animal signs he picked up on astounded her. Silently, he had pointed out a black bear sow and her twin cubs in the distance, a moose in the thickets that she would have completely overlooked, and countless other smaller animals. He knew which critter made every track they came upon. He read the forest for information as someone in her time would read a newspaper. It was most refreshing to get a glimpse of this wilderness that she loved so much in her time from this man who carved out a living here.

Aimee savored the beauty of her surroundings. Aspen trees grew in abundance. Beaver lodges lined the banks along streams, and countless otters played in the waters. With the coming of the fur trappers to these mountains within a decade of this time, the beaver would be trapped to near extinction. Wolves would be hunted until none remained, and without this predator, the elk would take over, and cause the destruction of the aspen from overgrazing. This was a Yellowstone unfamiliar to her, but it was as nature had intended before the encroachment of man.

Despite the differences, the landscape still held a certain familiarity, and she realized Daniel was leading them back in the direction of the cabin sometime in the early afternoon. Her foot throbbed with every step she took, but today was one of the best days of her life. The raw, undisturbed landscape exhilarated her. No other hikers, no roads. Just me and this gorgeous backwoodsman.

Oh, geez, where were her thoughts taking her now? Daniel had proven to be an excellent teacher, and she enjoyed seeing her beloved Yellowstone through his eyes. Yet, as the day wore on, she found it harder and harder to concentrate on her surroundings, while she became more and more aware of him. He was as untamed as this land, and by far the most virile man she had ever met.


Peggy L Henderson

Western Historical and Time Travel Romance

“Where Adventure Awaits and Love is Timeless”

Author of:

  • Yellowstone Romance Series
  • Teton Romance Trilogy
  • Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series
  • Blemished Brides Western Historical Romance Series

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I never thought I’d be a writer, much less publish a book some day. I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I guess life just had other plans for me. When my husband and I decided to start a family, vet school pretty much went out the window, but I stayed in the field as a veterinary clinical laboratory technologist.

I live with my husband and two teenage sons in southern California. I have a Welsh pony, a crazy Labrador retriever who is a food vacuum, two cats, two parakeets, four bearded dragons (my compromise with my sons when they wanted a snake), and a small flock of chickens complete our menagerie of critters. I can’t imagine my life without my animals. My dream is to live in Montana some day.

In 2009, I began writing a story that, for whatever reason, was stuck in my head for almost a year. The book, Yellowstone Heart Song, turned into a full series of five novels (with three more planned), and several novellas. I’ve also written a related series, the Teton Romance Trilogy, plus three books in the Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, and working on an ongoing western historical romance series titled Blemished Brides.

When I’m not writing, I love to go camping and hiking with my husband and kids, and spend time with my animals.