Thursday, March 28, 2019

How Fast Did They Go

Today, we rush around at break-neck speed wearing ourselves out. We rush here and there without giving a thought that we travel more in a day than most people traveled in their lifetimes. But are we getting anywhere?
Wagons trains traveled 10 to 30 miles a day at 2-3 miles an hour. Hardly enough to blow your hair in your face.
Horses run at 25-30 miles per hour.

The first trains started at ten miles an hour but by 1848 they were traveling at 60 MPH. In fact, there was concern that the human body might not be able to take such speeds.

We walk at about 3 Miles per hour.

So things in the 1800s went at a much slower pace.

It does make me wonder, though we travel faster and farther ~ are we getting anywhere?

Today, make it a slowdown Thursday and stop and smell the roses. 
Look around and appreciate the beauty of spring and 
get to know those around you,
Say Hello, Smile, and look for the blessings
as you look to be a blessing.

It's a wonderful world, Slow down and enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Not So Famous Fast Guns of the West

Not So Famous Fast Guns of the West

Everyone's heard of Wild Bill Hickok, Billy the Kid and men like John Wesley Hardin and how fast they were with a gun. The stories told in the history books are well known throughout western culture. 

There are a few gunslingers that never got as much attention as Wild Bill or Billy the Kid. 

Dallas Stoudenmire

Dallas Stoudenmire is not a name that falls easily off the tongue. It's a rarity if anyone really knows who he was. Dallas was 15 when he joined the Confederate Army -basically a kid trying to be a man. When the officers found out that he was not of age, he was thrown out. But, he persisted by signing up again and did get to fight in the Civil War. Dallas also had a stint as a Texas Ranger for a few year using two pistols instead of one to shoot. He was a sure shot and shooting with both hands gave him a reputation as a tough, dangerous man. When he was drinking, he lost his temper alot and grew an even worse reputation.

His reputation earned him the job of a marshall in El Paso, Texas. Throughout history, the legend of the gunfight at the OK coral became famous but in El Paso, there was another legendary fight called Four Dead in Five Seconds! It happened just 3 days after Stoudernmire accepted the job as marshall. He took both of his Colt revolvers and shot and killed three men. For the next year, he was infamous for seven more killings from gunfights. He became legendary but as many friends that he had, there was just as many if not more foes.

When he was only 36 years old, a feud with the Manning brothers caused his death.

James “Killin’ Jim” Miller

James Miller from Arkansas was born in 1866 but his family moved to Texas not much after his birth. He had to go live with his grandparents when his mother and father died when he was just a youngster. Not much after he moved in with them, he lost his grandparents when they were murdered. Authorities tried to blame him for the murders. At 8 years old, he wasn't charged for the crime but he was sent to live with his sister and her family. When he was a teen, he shot and killed his brother-in-law by shooting him in the head. 

Justice let him off on a technicality and the name killin' Jim was given to him. Even though he was given a life sentence for killing his sister's husband, it didn't stick. So he went out and attacked Joe Townsend, a lawman from Ballinger City. Instead of getting caught, he took off, did some traveling and even ran a saloon. 

The crazy thing is he became a lawman himself, but his temper flared while arguing with the sheriff of Pecos. The sheriff shot him in several places but Killin' Jim was prepared. He wore a steel plate for protection and survived the shooting. 

Jim was also a Texas Ranger and an assasin. He survived the Old West but in 1909 he was hanged for the murder of a Deputy US Marshal. Legend has it he told them to "let 'er rip' when he was about to hang.

These two men were famous in their own right but never had the stories follow them like some of the others did.

Monday, March 25, 2019

How Did They Do It?

I'm very blessed to have the kind of job that allows me to work from anywhere. One of my dear friends has taken a job in St.George, Utah and I'm visiting her this week. What a beautiful place! Different in so many ways from my beloved Georgia, I'm loving the amazing views.

Two other friends joined us (along with one of their sons) and we've had a wonderful reunion. Here's a picture I took. From left to right - Carol, Kate, Alison, and Jay.

Yesterday, we took a trip to Snow Canyon for a short hike and some photo ops. As we stopped to look at God's beauty around us, we wondered how the pioneers who went west in covered wagons managed to get across this rough terrain. I wondered if they were as taken with the lovely mountains and desert expanse below them as we were. Then I thought that possibly they couldn't see the beauty for the hardships it would cause for them.

Research over the years has told me that crossing rivers were likely the most dangerous part of the trip west. When rivers were swollen with snow melt or when they were flowing quickly, wagons were most vulnerable to turn over. Loss of life of people and animals was common. Supplies were lost. Losing the precious supplies they'd brought or managed to buy along the way could be catastrophic. Obviously, losing parents, children or friends was an unbearable consequence of taking this amazing risk for a different life.
The terrain is rutted and rugged. The mountains are jagged and steep. A typical wagon train only traveled between ten and twenty miles per day. Adding obstacles like this could slow them even further. They followed hunting trails where they existed and some of them used guides. Many had to walk through the rutted trails hunting for smoother places for the wagons to follow.

The mountains couldn't be avoided. They'd go around where they could, but it wasn't possible to go around all of them. They were far to vast for that. Scouts would search for spaces and holes in the rocks that were large enough for the animals and wagons to get through. Some of my research includes tales of wagons being dismantled on one side and rebuilt when they got to the other side. The idea seems a little far-fetched and impractical, but I did see it in more than one account.

One thing is certain... The people who settled the west were determined, hearty, and amazing. Their vision for what they wanted from life was clear and they were willing to sacrifice to get it. What inspiration for any of us as we face difficulties and obstacles in life!


Annie's latest release is Book Eight in the Colorado Matchmaker Series. You can find Delilah and Ethan on Amazon.


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.

Follow Annie on Amazon, Bookbub and get email updates.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Feature Book: HART'S LONGING by Marisa Masterson

Today we feature
by guest author, Marisa Masterson

About Hart's Longing:

A man who has loved a woman for five years without telling her…

Two weeks before he has to leave both her and Idyll Wood…

A secret that keeps them apart….

Zelly fuller realizes she’s worthless. Her mother certainly made sure she knew that. Zelly just doesn’t know why. Being loved is an impossible dream until him…

Hart Bahr has loved her from afar. Learning about a bet to harm Zelly, he decides it’s time to claim Zelly as his, both to love and to protect her. Zelly, however, just might have other ideas about that.

With a bully whose father has the sheriff in his pocket, mysterious skeletons that bring an old secret to light, and Zelly’s own uncertainty, the road to true love runs anything but smoothly in this sweet historical romance.

Discover if Hart’s longing ever becomes true love in this debut novel.

To purchase Hart's Longing on Amazon for Kindle, please CLICK HERE


     Ram felt her pause and look down at her with an eyebrow raised. “Thought you wanted to talk in the moonlight.” His question dripped innuendo even to Zelly's innocent ears.
     She looked up at him in the lantern light, ensuring he was able to see her smile. “Oh yes, please!” she said with a sultry voice. Even if she didn't understand his innuendo she could easily imitate it,
     Holding up the skirt of her light blue dress with her free hand so as not to stain it in the grass, she walked with Ram along the edge of the field that bordered the barnyard. Once they were a short distance away from the celebration, they stopped under an oak.
     The scoundrel had made her miserable often in school. She hated him after all of his nastiness through the years.
     Suddenly she remembered a particularly nasty moment when Ram had tried to put a horse apple down the back of her dress. It brought the leaden weight of dread and now to her chest. It had been that first year of school. She wore a new dress that her mother, Ma'am, had sewn for her that week, a rare happening, and she'd worn it proudly that day.
     While Ralph Stinson distracted her by telling her what a nice dress she had, Ram stood behind her and pulled at the back of her collar, intending to put the smelly horse apple down her dress. When she felt his hand on her she had whirled, ripping her collar. What a whipping she'd received at night!
     The memory gave her the strength to act. She looked at him and spoke sweetly. “There's something I've longed to do every time I'm near you.”
     He leaned into her. “Yeah, well go ahead,” he encouraged.
     Taking her arm away from his and balling her fist, she pulled it back to send a punch.

About Marisa Masterson:

Marisa Masterson and her husband of thirty years reside in Saginaw, Michigan.  They have two grown children, one son-in-law, and two old and lazy dogs.

She is a retired high school English teacher and oversaw a high school writing center in partnership with the local university. In addition, she is a National Writing Project fellow.

Focusing on her home state of Wisconsin, she writes sweet historical romance. Growing up, she loved hearing stories about her family pioneering in that state. Those stories, in part, are what inspired her to begin writing.

Find Marisa on Facebook, in the Chat Sip and Read Community or on her Facebook page Please follow her on Amazon.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Image result for historic images of leadville colorado
1879 Map of Leadville Colorado
from World Maps Online
By 1880 Leadville, Colorado had grown from a tiny mining community to one of the largest towns in Colorado. This town, at an elevation of 10, 151', was a wild boom town. It saw the likes of Doc Holiday,Wyatt Earp and possibly the James brothers. Margaret Brown, known to the world as Molly Brown was there. It was also the scene of brawls, gunfights and killings. It was a place where many found their fortunes, including the Horace W. Tabor, who divorced his wife Augusta, to marry Elizabeth 'Baby Doe' McCort. 

Into this town, in late 1878, came the Sisters of Charity. They were: Sister Bernard Mary Pendergast, Sister Mary Crescentia Fischer, and Sister Francis Xavier Davey. According to the below article, from the June 3, 1879 issue of the Leadville Daily Evening Chronicle, they traveled through the treacherous winter weather, around Christmas time, through the mountains to care for the sick and build a hospital.

Of course the article alludes to six, but it began with the above three, as far as documentation shows.

In my upcoming novel, "The Outlaw's Letter", my hero, Grant Davis has need of the services provided by these noble and dedicated women.  Make sure to check out his story when the ebook releases on April 6, 2019 on Amazon. You can also pre-order here: The Outlaw's Letter

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Monday, March 18, 2019

Origins of American Sign Language and it's growth in the 1800's

Helen Keller, famous as an outspoken political activist was both deaf and blind, but she brought a great deal of awareness in the late 1800's and early the 1900's that having a physical disability -- having two physical disabilities -- does not impair the mind.

Before the advent of American Sign Language in the early 1800's, deaf people in America lived in absolute silence. They had no ability to communicate their needs or their thoughts to a world that treated them as unintelligent as well as disabled.

It wasn't until one American, a minister named Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, took an interest in how his deaf neighbor's child seemed, in all aspects, to be intelligent, but struggled to communicate. He traveled by boat back to France in 1814, which already had schools and asylums for the deaf, to find a teacher who would be willing to return to America with him to start the first school for the deaf in 1817 in Hartford Connecticut. Together the developed a system of sign language and taught at the school until retirement in the 1850's. By then, over 1500 students had graduated from the school and graduates from the school had established over twenty more schools for the deaf across the country.

My maiden name is actually Keller, a cousin of Helen. As a child I grew up knowing about our family connection and did several reports on her for school. I also studied ASL and developed a rudimentary understanding of it, but have lost much of it over the years because I didn't use it. In my current story-in-progress, my heroine is a spunky, ambitious deaf girl who is helping an orphan girl learn ASL and potentially get adopted on the first orphan train which left New York in 1854.

P. Creeden is the Sweet Romance and mystery pen name for USA Today Bestselling author, Pauline Creeden. Animals are the supporting characters of many of her stories, because they occupy her daily life on the farm, too. From dogs, cats, and goldfish to horses, chickens, and geckos -- she believes life around pets is so much better, even if they are fictional. 

My upcoming book featuring the deaf heroine will be available April 10!
Preorder your copy now: