Monday, February 29, 2016

And the Grand Prize Winner Is...

We had a wonderful, exciting and successful LEAP INTO LOVE party.
Our authors were able to share some of their recent books and connect with readers--long-time fans and new. Thanks to all who attended and expressed how much they enjoyed being there.

This promotion is now closed.

As part of the lead-up to this event we sponsored an event:
Part of the purpose was to promote our Facebook party; 
part was to encourage those who love to read and write sweet historical romance set in North America from the 1820's to the 1920's to sign up to follow either by email or by RSS feed.
Or both.

The winner of this grand prize which was determined by the random Rafflecopter drawing offered on the Countdown posts will receive a $50 Amazon gift card
one digital book from each of the Sweet Americana Sweethearts.

Our grand prize winner is....

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Countdown Day #1 to Leap into Love FB Party


TOMORROW the Authors at Sweet Americana Sweethearts are holding their first ever Facebook Party and YOU are invited! We are calling it LEAP INTO LOVE is a BIG LEAP for most of us and we are holding it on LEAP DAY! 

                             Some things to look forward to ~ 

     1. A chance to chat with your favorite authors and meet some new ones.
     2. Drawings for PRIZES throughout the 3-hour party.
     3. A GRAND PRIZE for those who enter our RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST
                    (See below! You can enter now!)

The books we promote are sweet, clean historical romance set in America between 1820 & 1920. They are full of romance, adventure & mystery with a G to PG rating. 
We like to call them Family Friendly.

Our GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY will be for one lucky subscriber to our newsletter. To enter, simply sign up through the link below. You can increase your odds of winning if you "Like" &"Share" this event with your friends on social media. The more the merrier! 

Day #1  of Countdown to Leap into Love featuring:

Kathryn Albright

Learn more about this author by visiting her author page. Click HERE

To chat with all of our authors and have a chance to win more prizes, join us at our  
Leap into Love Facebook Party
on Monday, February 29th ~  Leap Day! ~ from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. Eastern Time
Join the party by clicking HERE. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Countdown Day #2 to Leap into Marriage

In honor of our Countdown to the Leap into Love Party, I looked up Leap Year traditions on Google. 

The tradition which caught my eye first was the one where a woman could propose marriage to a man on February 29th. The custom has been attributed to St. Bridget, who supposedly complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose marriage. So, St. Patrick chose one day (in four years) where a woman could pop the question to the man she wanted to marry.

I wonder how often in the past this has happened, and if the groom took her seriously and said "yes"?  You can see if the man was shy, this would help the couple get around to the ceremony. But I'm sure some men were totally caught by surprise. 

And if the man said no to the woman's proposal of marriage? Another tradition said the man had to give the woman gloves then to hide her ringless finger.

Can you imagine this happening today? Suppose the couple is at a big basketball game, she's proposing marriage and it's being seen on the jumbotron overhead. How would the man act? Surprised, embarrassed, happy? What if he adamantly shook his head no?

However a Leap Year proposal turned out at a big sports event, you can be sure it would be seen on Youtube forever. 

Let's hope there are many successful marriages from this leap year's proposals!

Day #2 of Countdown to Leap into Love featuring:

Linda Hubalek

Learn more about this author by visiting her author page. Click HERE

To chat with all of our authors and have a chance to win more prizes, join us at our  
Leap into Love Facebook Party
on Monday, February 29th  Leap Day! ~ from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. Eastern Time
Join the party by clicking HERE. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Countdown Day #3—DARE TO LEAP Into Vaudeville

In the United States and Canada, this type of theatrical entertainment hit its heyday from the 1880s through the 1930s. The term “vaudeville” describes a show involving separate acts of various types under a common bill. Distinguished from “minstrel shows” (1840s-1860s) or “variety” shows” (1860s-1881, vaudeville provided entertainment aimed more to a family audience and was performed mostly in places where alcohol was not served. Rosters of acts included popular and classical musicians and singers, acrobats, trained animals, magicians, comedians, jugglers, illustrated songs, and one-act plays.


Like circuses, traveling shows often had a regular circuit and the performing season was regulated on favorable weather. Because vaudeville shows involved only small animals and the dray animals, more freedom was enjoyed in finding audiences not served by larger outfits. Since traveling was seasonal, most troupes had a home base where they performed in a theater setting.

This research was an important component of my plot for Laced By Love, a Montana Sky Kindle Worlds novel. Choosing a vaudeville troupe as the normal world for some of characters was such fun. I became mistress of ceremonies to select what type of acts to include, the costuming, and what music would be performed. I hope those who read it have as much fun as I did creating the story.

Day #3 of Countdown to Leap into Love featuring:

Linda Carroll-Bradd

Learn more about this author by visiting her author page. Click HERE

To chat with all of our authors and have a chance to win more prizes, join us at our  
Leap into Love Facebook Party
on Monday, February 29th ~  Leap Day! ~ from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. Eastern Time
Join the party by clicking HERE. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Countdown Day #4: DARE TO LEAP INTO Dime Novels

It's all about books!
The earliest surviving scrolls date from 2400 BC. A long time and far from the millions of books available today. But perhaps the books that spurred the American masses into readers were the Dime Novels.

One of the first and most notable companies was formed by Erastus and Irwin Beadle. Their first book was put out in 1860. It was roughly the size of a small paperback and had a 100 pages and sold 60,000 copies in the first months.

Most of the stories were about the west & frontier and centered around a hero and his adventures. 

Later, to save cost, the books were printed on larger paper and were only 32 pages looking more like a magazine than book. 

But we can thank the Dime Novel for spurring Americans into readers hungry for story. And we haven't changed. We still want to read a good story. 

You can go on Amazon and still find reprinted Dime Novels, of course, they aren't a dime anymore.  : )

But have I got a deal for you. 


Day #4 of Countdown to Leap into Love featuring:

Patricia PacJac Carroll

Learn more about this author by visiting her author page. Click HERE

To chat with all of our authors and have a chance to win more prizes, join us at our  
Leap into Love Facebook Party
on Monday, February 29th  Leap Day! ~ from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. Eastern Time
Join the party by clicking HERE. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


In honor of our Countdown to Leap into Love, I am going to share the marriage story of my great-grandparents, Edwin Brown and Desdemona Fox. I have a fairly uncommon situation in this family line due to my grandmother being one of those late-in-life babies born when her mother was forty-four years old and her father was fifty. My mother was born when her mother was well into her thirties. On many occasions I listened to my grandmother’s stories which she heard first hand from her parents. Each, as children, sailed across the Atlantic and crossed the plains in covered wagons in the 1850’s.

Desdemona Fox was born July 3, 1847 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England to George Sellman Fox and Elizabeth Jones. In 1855 the family left England for the United States. From Mormon Grove next to the Missouri River in Kansas they traveled by covered wagon to the Great Salt Lake valley. The family eventually ended up in the South Cottonwood/Union Fort area.

I don't have a photo of this couple near the age when they were married, but here is the next youngest picture I have of Desdemona with one of her children.

Edwin Brown was born in Berkshire, England and at the age of eleven sailed from Liverpool, England with three generations of his family to the United States in January of 1853. They arrived in New Orleans, traveled by steamboat up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa where they joined a wagon train to take them to the Greater Salt Lake valley. The family also settled in South Cottonwood south of Great Salt Lake City. I don't have a photo of Edwin when he was young, but he probably most resembled his oldest son, Edwin Parley.

Son Edwin Parley Brown, left; Edwin Brown, right
It was the custom of the day for dating couples to attend dances in the area.  When these young people went to dances they traveled by ox team and paid their way into the dance with vegetables.  At that time period, the Mormon Church was opposed to round dances, waltzes or two-steps, hence most of the dances were quadrilles.

According to my grandmother, she remembered being told the young people would finish their evening chores, gather to ride to the dance, and then return late at night.  Travel was slow, and they usually got home in time to start their morning chores.

On July 17, 1865, Edwin and Desdemona Fox were in a wagon traveling home from a dance in South Jordan. Some accounts say there were several couples; others there were just the two couples. They dared each other to get married that morning on their way home.

Based on my grandmother’s telling of the incident, Edwin, Desdemona and another couple were returning home from a dance. It was the wee hours of the morning, not long before dawn.  After each couple dared the other to get married, they turned their wagon towards the home of their bishop, Reynolds Cahoon.  As they approached his home, through the dim light of dawn, they saw him walking up and down his front porch.  When they arrived, he asked what they wanted. They told him they wanted to get married.  He replied, anyone who wants to get married, stand up. Edwin and Desdemona stood up and were married while standing in the wagon. After Edwin and Desdemona were married, the other couple(s) changed their minds.

After the newlyweds left the bishop’s home, Desdemona began to be fearful about going home to face her parents with the news that she and Edwin had married. Although George and Elizabeth Fox were not opposed to Edwin, they felt Desdemona, at the age of 18, was too young to marry.  Desdemona decided to go to her sister's home in Union Fort instead. She stayed with her sister while Edwin finished preparing a house for her. Several months later the parents were told of the marriage.

Union Fort, Utah

The marriage proved to be a happy one. The Browns settled in Little Cottonwood where they raised nine daughters, two sons and a granddaughter born to their eldest daughter who died at a young age.
My grandmother, Goldie Pearl, sits between her parents
As a historical side note, the community in the Great Salt Lake area in which both the Brown and Fox family lived was first settled in about 1848 by a group of Latter-day Saints church members from Mississippi. It was called Little Cottonwood, then South Cottonwood. In 1883, when a post office was established by the federal government, which tended to be antagonistic towards the Mormons, it was named Murray after territorial governor, Eli Murray. This was in spite of the objections of the local citizens. 

In 1849 by Jehu Cox founded the defensive Union Fort to help secure the area for the early farmers living nearby. Until the late 20th century, the Union Fort area continued as a local center, but never had a large population. It remained nearly rural. The name eventually was altered to Fort Union.

Generations later, the story of this marriage caught the fancy of local Murray residents resulting in a play being written and performed in 1992 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Murray.


Day #5  of Countdown to Leap into Love featuring:

Zina Abbott

Learn more about this author by visiting her author page. Click HERE.

To chat with all of our authors and have a chance to win more prizes, join us at our  
Leap into Love Facebook Party
on Monday, February 29th ~  Leap Day! ~ from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. Eastern Time
Join the party by clicking HERE. 

Click HERE to tweet this blog post: 

Would you marry on a dare? Countdown to Leap into Love #5 @ZinaAbbott #SweetAmerSweethearts 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Leap Into Love....Love Lives of Wild West Legends!


With all this talk of Leaping Into Love, I thought it might be interesting to check out the love lives of some of the legends in the “old wild west”!  Here’s a few that I found…..

Wyatt Earp 

It is generally assumed he was married three times, but a marriage license exists only for the union with his first wife, Rilla Sutherland. They were wed on January 10, 1870, in Lamar, Mo., and Rilla, the daughter of a local hotel keeper, died less than a year later. Sally Heckell called herself wife of Wyatt Earp. Was Sarah Earp simply a prostitute who had taken the name of her protector – No one knows.
No official record has been found uniting Wyatt with either of the other wives — Mattie Blaylock and Josephine Sadie Marcus — though he maintained a long-term relationship with each.

Rilla Sutherland

Maddie Blaylock

Josephine Marcus

Batt Masterson

Emma Walter-

In Denver, Masterson dealt faro for "Big Ed" Chase at the Arcade gambling house. In 1888, he managed and then purchased the Palace Variety Theater. It was probably there that Masterson first met an Indian club swinger and singer called Emma Moulton, born as Emma Matilda Walter near Philadelphia on July 10, 1857. 

The pair subsequently lived together, and it has been widely reported that they married in Denver on 21 November 1891, although no record of the marriage has come to light thus far. The only known source for the November 21, 1891 date was given by Bat Masterson's brother, Thomas Masterson, years after Bat died. Emma was not divorced from her first husband, Edwin Winford Moulton (1847-1922), until 9 November 1893. When they were later enumerated in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Bat and Emma claimed that they had been married for seventeen years, suggesting a marriage date of 1893. Masterson's biographer has raised the possibility that Bat and Emma were actually married on November 21, 1893, two weeks after Emma's divorce from Edwin Moulton. Bat and Emma were traveling through various eastern states at that time, and it is possible that they were married on November 21, 1893 in one of those eastern states. So far, an actual marriage record hasn't been found.

Buffalo Bill Cody

Louise Frederici and William “Buffalo Bill” Cody were married for almost 51 years. The marriage itself was “rocky” because of the numerous separations that they endured. His life on the wild frontier, being an Army scout, supplying buffalo meat for the pioneers and military, and later producing and traveling with his “Wild West” shows, kept them apart many times. 

Through the years they had four children — a son and three daughters. Their son Kit Carson Cody, died at age 6. Their second daughter. Orra Maude Cody, died at age 11. Their oldest daughter, Arta Lucille cody, died at age 38, and the youngest daughter, Irma Louise Cody, died at age 35. Irma Louise was the only child to survive her famous father. Irma passed away in 1918. Louise Frederici Cody outlived all four of her children.

Belle Starr
Allegedly, Belle was briefly married for three weeks to Charles Younger, uncle of Cole Younger in 1878, but this is not substantiated by any evidence. There are numerous claims that Belle's daughter Pearl Reed was actually Pearl Younger, but in Cole Younger's own biography (quoted in Glen Shirley's "Belle Starr and her times") Cole Younger discounted that as rubbish and set down what he truly knew of Belle. In 1880 she did marry a Cherokee man named Sam Starr and settled with the Starr family in the Indian Territory. There, she learned ways of organizing, planning and fencing for the rustlers, horse thieves and bootleggers, as well as harboring them from the law. Belle's illegal enterprises proved lucrative enough for her to employ bribery to free her cohorts from the law whenever they were caught.

In 1883, Belle and Sam were arrested by Bass Reeves charged with horse theft and tried before "The Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker's Federal District Court in Fort Smith, Arkansas; the prosecutor was United States Attorney W. H. H. Clayton. She was found guilty and served nine months at the Detroit House of Corrections in Detroit, Michigan. Belle proved to be a model prisoner and during her time in jail she won the respect of the prison matron, while Sam was more incorrigible and was assigned to hard labor.

In 1886, she escaped conviction on another theft charge, but on December 17, Sam Starr was involved in a gunfight with Officer Frank West. Both men were killed, while Belle's life as an outlaw queen—and what had been the happiest relationship of her life—abruptly ended with her husband's death.

Judge Roy Bean  

On October 28, 1866, he married eighteen-year-old Virginia Chavez. Within a year after being married, he was arrested for aggravated assault and threatening his wife's life.  

Despite the tumultuous marriage, they had four children together - Roy Jr., Laura, Zulema and Sam. The family lived in "a poverty-stricken Mexican slum area called Beanville"

John Wayne

John and Pilar Wayne
Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. He was fluent in Spanish and his three wives, each of Hispanic descent, were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete

He had four children with Josephine: Michael Wayne (November 23, 1934 – April 2, 2003), Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava (February 25, 1936 – December 6, 2000), Patrick Wayne (born July 15, 1939), and Melinda Wayne Munoz (born December 3, 1940). He had three more children with Pilar: Aissa Wayne (born March 31, 1956), John Ethan Wayne (born February 22, 1962), and Marisa Wayne (born February 22, 1966).

Sam Elliott

Elliott married actress Katharine Ross in 1984. Although Ross starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which Elliott had a very small role, the two did not meet and begin dating until 1978 when they both starred with Roger Daltrey in The Legacy

The couple have a daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott, born in 1984, who is now a musician in Malibu.

I'm celebrating Leap Into Love with my new story, Gabe, The Thornton Trilogy, Book 1.  Coming February 29!!!

I sure hope you all stop by our Leap Into Love Extravanganza on February 29!  During my time to chat with a few of you, names are going into a hat and I am giving an ebook of Hannah: Bride of Iowa and Jesse’s Find, Book 1 of The Jesse’s Series.  AND there is a “Grand Prize” for one lucky person. I’m throwing Hannah: Bride of Iowa into the mix along with prizes from the other authors.  Of course, there’s also a $50 Amazon card to be given away, too.  Sign up below in the Rafflecopter!


Day   of Countdown to Leap into Love featuring:

Penny Estelle

Learn more about this author by visiting her author page. Click HERE

To chat with all of our authors and have a chance to win more prizes, join us at our  
Leap into Love Facebook Party
on Monday, February 29th ~  Leap Day! ~ from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. Eastern Time
Join the party by clicking HERE.