Thursday, March 22, 2018

EGGSACTLY what to do with eggs on the frontier.

Eggs ~ the complete, portable food.

Have you ever wondered how the pioneers had eggs so often? I think out on the prairie there'd be nothing better than a breakfast of bacon and eggs.

Long before IHOP and Dennys dotted the hiways and biways across our continent, brave souls crossed in wagons.

I can hear the kids now. "I'm hungry. Are we there yet? Let's eat."

So what and how did they have enough eggs to get across the Great Divide?

I'm sure some brought chickens along. But chickens are funny about laying and most would probably slow down if not stop laying all together.

There were several ways to store eggs for 6 months or more without worrying about the rotten egg. If you've never smelled one of those, consider yourself lucky. So, how did they preserve eggs?"

Back in the day, farmers didn't wash their eggs. Eggs come with a natural coating to keep bacteria out and prevent the rotten egg. Not always a foolproof plan, but even now in Europe they don't wash their eggs and they keep them out and don't refrigerate them.

But if you're going on a long trip, what do you do? You help that protective barrier by coating the eggs with lard or grease. Melt the grease, dip the eggs, rub off the grease and repeat several times. They can last up to a year if kept cool.

Pickled eggs ~ hard boil the eggs, peel them, and then put them in a solution of vinegar, salt, spices and seasonings.

So you can see, wise pioneers could plan well and have eggs across the prairie, the great divide, and on into California or Oregon. They are an excellent source of proteins and vitamins and taste good too. 

Enjoy the day  : )
Patricia PacJac Carroll

Don't forget to take a look at my Lockets and Lace story ~ Oregon Dreams. 
And you can find the rest of my book on Amazon > Patricia PacJac Carroll

My books are also Free on Kindle Unlimited

and I do have a perma free book you can read. Caroline's Love

Sign up for my Newsletter and receive notice of when I have a new release. > Sign up Here 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


In both "Josie's Dream" and "Chasing A Chance" I mention women doctors. It is not necessarily the medical aspect I am interested in, although that is fascinating, but the stories of the women and their time in history. So in honor of National Women's History month, I'm sharing my fascination and some research on women doctors.

The medical school, The Keokuk School of Physicians and Surgeons, was a real college. It has also been called the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Keokuk. It began in La Porte, Indiana in 1846 before moving to Madison, Wisconsin in 1847 then to Rock Island, Illinois in 1848. The school had a year long session in Davenport, Iowa before its permanent home in Keokuk in 1850. As part of the University of Iowa it was technically co-ed from the beginning.  

Josephine, the Josie of "Josie's Dream", was a graduate of the Keokuk school as was the real life doctor Harriet Leonard of Manitou Springs, Colorado. Dr. Leonard was the proprietor of the Bath house, an unusual position for a woman. Her ad in the July 1878 local paper read: Mrs. H. A. Leonard M.D. ELECTRICIAN. Special attention given to nervous and chronic diseases. Office in the Mineral Bath House, Manitou.  Although many women physicians were homeopaths, the medical treatment of choice during that time, Harriet was an allopath. Dr. Harriet Leonard

The other woman physician mentions is Dr. Alida Avery. Dr. Avery arrived in Colorado in 1874 after leaving Vassar College where she had been on staff for six years. In fact she was one of the early members of that faculty. Much has been written about this early Colorado physician, her work on women's suffrage, and her years at Vassar. Dr. Alida Avery

One of my enduring passions is researching the early Colorado Women Physicians and documenting their lives. When possible, I try to include these women or their stories in my fiction and well as non-fiction writing. So as you read "Josie's Dream" or the mention of Josie in "Chasing A Chance", know that it comes from a place of love and fascination with these early pioneering doctors of Colorado.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Member of National League of American Pen Women,
Women Writing the West,
Pikes Peak Posse of the Westerners

Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Yancy ~ His Story has been a Long Time Coming

on Preorder Now ~ Releases April 5.

Nettie's Love is the first book in the series and was followed by A Bluebonnet Misfit Christmas and both came out in 2015. Yancy was scheduled to come out in 2016 but life interrupted. 

You know how life can do that. : )  Other stories intervened and pushed Yancy back. And then I had heart surgery.  (Doing great now)

Yancy just couldn't get back in line until this year. My characters have a way of letting me know the time for their story is now! And Yancy demanded his time.

So, it's a couple of years late, but Yancy will make his debut April 5, 2018.

And what a wild story. Nettie is the original Misfit, and she is not happy unless she's helping others find the kind of love and happiness she found with her husband, Reed. She came to him as a mail order bride and has since helped Sally and Wills and now Yancy and Amanda, who is known as Fancy.

LOL Yes, I have a Fancy and a Yancy and a huge messy mix up. You see, Nettie feels for Yancy. He's a young man with a troubled past. He's a little wild at heart and she believes he just needs a good woman to settle him down. Of course, she doesn't tell Yancy or her husband what she's done.

Eugene, Fancy's father, loses his job in Virginia because of his daughter's shenanigans. He loves her dearly, but Fancy is wild and fiercely independent. Trouble is she's scared off any suitors she may have had in Virginia. So Eugene finds an ad for a mail order bride and writes a response for his daughter. 

Meanwhile, Nettie is having second thoughts that it is right to saddle some poor girl with Yancy's wild nature and troubles. 

And Eugene has the same second thoughts except he's worried about giving his wild daughter to some poor man not equipped to handle her. 

Add to the mix up that Fancy believes they have moved to Texas because her longtime, widowed father is answering a mail order ad from Nettie.

Fun, romance, and adventure combine in this story of Yancy's Bride.

PreOrder Now   Releases April 5th.

Blessings to you all.
Patricia PacJac Carroll

Don't forget to take a look at my Lockets and Lace story ~ Oregon Dreams. 
And you can find the rest of my book on Amazon > Patricia PacJac Carroll
My books are also Free on Kindle Unlimited
and I do have a perma free book you can read. Caroline's Love

Sign up for my Newsletter and receive notice of when I have a new release. > Sign up Here 

Monday, March 19, 2018

And You Thought This Was A Modern Food

By Sophie Dawson

Food. We eat it and love it and are sure the products we know today are products of the modern world. Modern being defined here as post World War I. Well, you’ll be surprised with the foods we know today have there origins in earlier times.

I’ve been researching foods to be sure when I mention them in my books that they are accurate to the time. I’m continually surprised at the products that were invented or common in the 19th century.

Most of us know that Coca Cola was created in 1886. It wasn’t the first soft drink, however. Dr. Pepper beat it by a year. Earlier than that, in 1862, James Vernon invented Ginger Ale. The Civil War delayed it’s release but it soon became very popular in soda fountains around Detroit, Vernon’s hometown.

Soda water. It’s the carbonated water that makes soda pop pop. It’s found naturally but creating it is what made all the future soft drinks possible. That happened in 1767. I never realized manmade carbonated water was 250 years old. Lemon was the first flavored soda water.

Marshmallows came into being in 1850. I doubt they were jet puffed back then. Toffee or taffy as well as butterscotch became popular with lower cost sugar around 1800. What would Valentine’s day be without Conversation Hearts (1866)?

If you’ve read my book Pearl’s Will you’ll know that by 1910 Cracker Jack (1893) and Tootsie Rolls (1896) were favorites for Americans all over the country. Jello was first available in 1897.

I sure didn’t know that Saccharin was invented in 1879. Seems people wanted low calorie sweets back then too.

So what about non-candy foods?

As in much of Western culture, the Christian influence on society dealt with food also. One of these is Welch’s Grape Juice invented in 1869 by Dr. Thomas B Welch, a dentist. (Hence the brand name.) Being a devout Methodist, Dr. Welch didn’t approve of wine being served in Communion. He began bottling unfermented grape juice and soon the company was producing and selling quantities of the beverage.

One canned food was credited in reducing infant mortality in North America: Borden’s Sweetened Condensed Milk. Invented in 1856 to fight food poisoning and other illnesses related to lack of refrigeration, the Civil War helped make the product a household name. The military needed milk that wouldn’t spoil.

Can you imaging not having potato chips, that staple of the snack industry? They were the invention of George Crum, a chef at Moon Lake Lodge resort in Sarasota Springs, NY. When a customer sent back an order of French Fries (18th Century) which were sliced potatoes rather than the rectangles  we know today, saying they were too thick, he sliced them very thin, fried them brown and served them. They were a hit and the potato chip was born.

Angels and Singing Raisins

Television advertising wasn’t even dreamed of when Philadelphia Cream Cheese was invented in 1872. I doubt the creator was thinking of angels since the legend is that William A Lawrence eavesdropped a conversation about the recipe and ‘promptly went home and made cream cheese.’ This wasn’t the Brand name known today. It was named that because Mr. Lawrence sent the cheese to be packaged and shipped out in Philadelphia, PA.

The Dancing California Raisin came about 100 years after the product. Legend has it that in 1873 there was a severe drought in California and the grapes dried on the vine before they could be picked.

These products have seen a lot of change over the years, yet their popularity has lasted upwards of two centuries. Other products have gone by the wayside. I must say, I'm glad Celery Jello isn't one of the flavors that lasted into the 21st. century.

Sophie Dawson writes sweet romance, both historical and contemporary.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Should We Make History Polite and Palatable?

Whitewashing history is a very dangerous game to play...

by Heather Blanton

Is it right to tell a story from the past but filter it through the sanitized, politically-correct lens of the twenty-first century? What do we lose if we follow that process? If we bury the sins and mistakes of the past, aren't we in danger of repeating them?

 Recently, I was doing some research and a friend gave me a couple of books on South Dakota history. They are all in the series Daughters of Dakota, edited by Sally Roesch Wagner. Each volume is a fascinating look at the life of lady pioneers--the gals who crossed the plains, stared Lakota Sioux right in the eye, lost husbands and children, survived fires and floods. You get the picture. The true Ladies in Defiance. But best of all, these books tell the stories in the women's own words. Each volume is a compilation of letters, diaries, and transcribed stories. First-hand accounts of pioneer life that give an amazing glimpse of life in South Dakota from the 1870s to the early 1900's.

There are several books in the collection. In Book 1, the editor goes to great pains to express that each story contains the actual words of the pioneer woman. Following the suggestion that "the English or grammar used is to be the writer's own for history is wanted [unvarnished] and not perfect manuscripts," editing was kept to a minimum. In fact, Wagner says, "The words have not been changed." 
South Dakota and her pioneers are all there in their ugliness—violence, racism, bigotry—and their beauty—generosity, kindness, self-sacrifice.

However, by book 6, Wagner has had a complete change of heart. She has decided she knows life in the nineteenth century better than the ones who actually lived then. "Today," she writes, "we know the disrespect and contempt contained in the word, 'squaw'; had these pioneer women known what we know, they would undoubtedly not have used the word."

Well, the poor, little, ignorant pioneers. If only they'd had someone like a college professor to enlighten them on diversity and social justice.  

To paint over this 19th-century mindset and not offend our modern one, Wagner continues, "In respect to them and their Native American friends, I have changed that word whenever it has appeared in the manuscript, along with the words, 'papoose' and 'buck.'"  

I don't know about you, but the woman's audacity almost leaves me speechless. But, wait. There's more. "'Colored' and 'Negro' are no longer considered correct usage; African American has replaced them in the women's stories." 

Don't get me wrong. I am certainly not defending the use of racial slurs. However, a hundred, a hundred-and-fifty years ago these words were common descriptors, sometimes used with malice, sometimes not. In my humble opinion, whitewashing history is a very dangerous game to play. If you don't present the past in its completeness, you get a skewed image that buries sins and hides mistakes. And that's not history at all. That's fiction.  

Do you agree with me or should we be making all history politically correct, polite, and palatable?   

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Courting in America during the Victorian era was bound by many rules. The purpose was marriage, plain and simple. Unlike dating as we know it today – or as it was even decades ago – courtship wasn’t really for fun and socialization. Some of the customs involved parties and social events, but the role of courting had nothing to do with those, really. Courtship normally came from negotiation and arrangements made by parents.

Things changed during the Gilded Age which lasted from 1870 through 1900. The American economy grew and people had more money. Industrialization gave people more free time and many chose to expand their social networks since they now had more time for parties and the like. The rigid rules of the Victorian era were cast aside. A step toward dating as we now know it came here.

In the old west, much of the formality of the east was impractical. This was true in all social situations, not just courtship. There were fewer people and the lifestyle was far less elegant. A woman still needed to behave appropriately to maintain a good reputation, but life was more relaxed.

Finding a wife was difficult for many men in the old west. Women who would make good wives were fairly scarce. Many marriages in the Western America happened because of the mail order bride movement. Small businesses developed over time to help bring couples together. Many of these were agencies running ads to help the ones looking find each other.

Matchmaking has been around for centuries and there were matchmakers in the old west, too. The process was less formal, but the principles were the same. A match would be made based on many factors – usually the least of those factors was the chance of love.

In the Colorado Matchmaker Series, Susannah Jessup becomes a matchmaker. She met her husband, Lucas, when she answered his ad for a wife. During their first few years of marriage, she needed to fill a void in her life as she found out she was barren. She and Lucas had wanted children, but that wasn’t meant to be. So, she started matching women who had difficulty finding a man with men who needed good wives.

This is a romance series, so all Susannah’s matched couples fall in love. While this may not have been typical for matched couples during the late 1800s in the old west, most of them developed very strong feelings of loyalty and respect for each other. Isn’t that love? Why can’t a couple in a romance story develop those feelings early and recognize them as love? Of course they can! That’s what makes romance in true to life situations so wonderful.

I hope you’ll take a look at the Colorado Matchmaker Series and fall in love with the couples in Rocky Ridge. The stories stand alone inside the series and can be read in any order. The latest story is about Olivia and Simon.


Annie Boone writes sweet western historical romance with a happy ending guaranteed in every single story. Inspiration comes in many forms and Annie finds more than one way to make her stories entertain and inspire.

To connect with Annie, find her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Release--Love's Target by Linda Carroll-Bradd

The next story in my Entertainers of the West series, Love’s Target, has released. This novella is part of Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World.


Vanora Deverell is tired of accompanying her father in his vagabond life as a farrier and wants a house to call her own. Even more, she’s tired of keeping him away from the Faro tables. When a casino owner demands her hand in marriage to cancel her father’s outstanding debt, Vanora and her father go on the run. No matter what Vanora does, she’ll never do it as well as her late brother, even though she’s stepped in as her father’s apprentice. But she yearns to be recognized for the young woman she has become. Having to dress as a boy to enter shooting contests grates on her nerves, but her shooting skill is their best chance to get out of debt.

Rancher Trent Melbyrne wants to step out from his father’s shadow and be recognized as a horse breeder in his own right. He’s in Bozeman buying a stud stallion when he enters a shooting contest and is chagrined when his accomplishments are bested by a boy…until he learns a secret about his opponent. At a second contest a few days later, he can’t believe the unfairness of the acclaim being heaped on the boy’s head. When he reveals the shooter’s secret, he sets off a string of events that lead to a showdown on his ranch in Morgan’s Crossing, Montana Territory. Can he atone for the danger he’s caused?

Available only on Amazon for $1.99 and free in Kindle Unlimited


The call came to set up for the rifle contest. The targets had been moved to the far end of the field. This time, the contestants stood about three hundred feet distant.

He hesitated over adding himself to a line, hoping to be positioned opposite the boy if he entered this contest. Finally, he stepped up to the mark for the farthermost target, settled his Winchester 1873’s stock against the cup of his shoulder, pulled up the graduated rear sight, and lined up the fixed sight. Trees at the edge of the forested area showed only slight movement. Good. Not much compensation needed for wind drift. He lowered the rifle barrel until it pointed at the ground and waited for the signal to shoot.

At the last moment, the boy shuffled to the mark to Trent’s left, cradling a Spencer carbine rifle, head cast downward.

Under the ruse of looking down the line toward Stanley, he gave sideways glances at the figure to his left. The repeating rifle was at least twenty years old but looked well cared for. Possibly, the father’s weapon from his military service. The boy’s clothes were baggy enough to almost look like a disguise. But why would that be? Dirt marked the side of the boy’s face, swiped along a cheek that appeared rounded and soft. How old was this boy? The streaks weren’t unusual for a hot summer’s day when kids were playing. But Trent hadn’t seen him anywhere on the ranch except in the area of the contest.

“All right, commence firing.”

The boy glanced just once at Trent and frowned. Then he angled his body and raised the rifle to shooting position.

The crack of the first shot snapped Trent alert, and he shook his head to clear the unusual thoughts. He set himself up with his left shoulder aimed toward the target, raised his weapon, and put the boy out of his mind. Instead, he focused on his aim, inhaled a deep breath, and held it. With precision, he did his best to group his six shots into the red circle.

When the firing stopped and the breeze wafted the smoke from the line of guns, he heard a soft-spoken exclamation, “Yes” that tightened his gut. Struck speechless, Trent could only gape at the vacant space to his left. Not only had his opponent disappeared from sight, but his opponent was not a boy.

Linda blogs here on the fourth Friday of the month and her other social media contacts are:
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Monday, March 12, 2018

A Writer's Life-Lemons to Lemonade by Zina Abbott

In the past I have written blog posts with the theme of “true confessions—I needed to make major changes on this book.” In a way, this is one of those posts.

I, along with eight other authors, wrote and prepared for publication our books in the Lockets & Lace series scheduled to be released the last two weeks of January, 2018. The December holiday season was a busy time for most of us, myself included. Perhaps it was because I also wrote the prequel for this series, but I found myself pushed for time to finish my full book for Lockets & Lace, Otto’s Offer. The main plot I have had in mind to write for years. However, the fine details, like some of my characters’ names, I did not choose until right down to the last minute.

I needed my female protagonist (we used to just call that person the heroine) to be hiding behind an assumed name. I considered some of the more common surnames of English origin—Smith, Johnson, Jones and Brown—and settled on Jones. I felt Smith was so common a surname, sometimes people in certain circumstances using that surname can be suspect. At all costs, my heroine, Libby, could not afford to be viewed as suspect. I chose the name Jones, one I know is of Welsh origin and very common in the United States.

And, so, the process of getting our Lockets & Lace books published and promoted progressed. We had cover reveals. We had preorders with book descriptions. We offered snippets. The names of my main characters were out there in public view.

I was almost finished writing this book when it hit me. I have used the surname Jones before. I have used it not in just any book, but in my Kizzie’s Kisses which was part of the Grandma’s Wedding Quilts series (GWQ), also by Sweet Americana Sweethearts authors. Kizzie ended up married to Leander JONES. If that was not enough, Otto in my current book is Kizzie’s cousin. 

Next complication: the Sidney and Jemima Atwell children belong to the GWQ series and Kizzie’s siblings belong to other authors. However, the cousins, the children of Jefferson and Carlotte Atwell which I offered up and no one seemed interested in, were solely my creation. Just as a couple other GWQ authors wrote books that belonged to two series’—GWQ and one of their own—I decided to do my own series, Atwell Kin, involving MY characters. Kizzie’s Kisses is book 2 in both Grandma’s Wedding Quilts and Atwell Kin. Otto’s Offer is book 3 in both Lockets & Lace and Atwell Kin. (And, yes, I have started the prequel, book 0, Charlie’s Choice and have planned book 1, Virginia’s Vocation.)

How could I have done that?
All well and good, except I managed to write myself in a corner by coming up with two totally unrelated characters in two separate books, both having the surname of Jones.

Not good.

Somewhere from the time I was young I was taught if I was handed a lemon to make lemonade. Take something that was sour and inedible, and sweeten it up until it is a tasty treat. A few rewrites later, that is exactly what I did with the surname Jones in Otto’s book. I added a chapter with details that had not been part of my original plot. I reintroduced one of my favorite secondary characters from Kizzie’s Kisses. I used it to solidify the growing relationship between Libby Jones and the Atwell family and their connected kin.

All's well that ends well, right?

How did I do it exactly? Since revealing the details would be big spoilers for both Kizzie’s Kisses and Otto’s Offer for those who have not read either or one of those two books, I won’t say exactly how I wrote it. All I will say is this: once Libby realized the misunderstanding regarding the name of Jones she had assumed as an alias, she tendered this thought:

I should have chosen the last name Smith.

That was actually my thought until I found a way to take that writing lemon of my own doing, and I turned it into what I felt was some excellent storyline lemonade.

Zina Abbott wrote for both the Grandma’s Wedding Quilts series and the Lockets & Lace series.

To find the book description and purchase link for Kizzie’s Kisses, please CLICK HERE.

To find the book description and purchase link for Otto’s Offer, please CLICK HERE.