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Thursday, July 31, 2014


I met Livia when I became a member of the Western Fictioneers professional writing group. At that time, there were not very many women in the ranks, and I was sure glad to have her to ask questions of and to toss ideas out to. When she asked for help with the WF blog, I was more than happy to step up and help as much as I possibly could. As time passed, we became friends—a friendship I cherish. That’s what led to even better things!

We’d talked about starting a publishing company for women only –because, let’s face it, women have the devil’s own time breaking into genres that have always been male gender specific—westerns and science fiction offerings being the two biggest culprits. So, since we both wrote westerns, we decided that was a good place to start. We knew there were a lot of ladies out there who were darn good western writers that just needed a chance to show what they could do—and New York City was certainly not providing that opportunity any more—not even to a lot of the men who wrote westerns, and had done so for years.

Prairie Rose Publications will be one year old next month, as I talked about earlier this week. Livia and I have found that we work very well together, and the business has boomed and expanded so much that we’ve added another company administrator, Kathleen Rice Adams, as our Promotions, Publicity, and Media Coordinator! We can’t even imagine doing this without her help at this point.

Livia’s not one to “toot her own horn” as my mother used to call it, so I want to take this opportunity to show you some of the things that she’s done this year with PRP and our imprint for younger readers, PAINTED PONY BOOKS!
Let’s start with CHARLIE’S PIE! This short story first appeared in our very first anthology here at PRP. When Livia entered the anthology with eight stories into the Western Fictioneers Short Fiction category for the Peacemaker Award, something wonderful happened. Charlie’s Pie WON! We are all so proud of Livia’s win—we were in the same anthology, and it was our first venture, so we were all rooting for one another—and she took the prize!
One of the first books we published in our PAINTED PONY BOOKS line for our middle-grade reader group was a book by Livia and her husband, James Reasoner, called THE PHANTOM RANGER AND THE SKATEBOARD GANG.

This was a book they’d written together, then put aside for a while—until Painted Pony Books became the venue to bring it to life for new middle grade readers!
Codi Jackson and her father have been forced to move again. Codi’s getting used to being the “new girl” in her fifth grade class—but that doesn’t mean she has to like it. Can’t life just be normal? With her mother out of the picture and her father working odd shifts as a police officer, friends are important—as long as they’re not the wrong kind.

When Codi and a classmate, Keith Wright, are assigned to work on a history project, Codi has to make some hard decisions about her popularity in her new school.

But everything changes when Codi picks up an old Texas Rangers badge that belonged to one of her ancestors and he appears right before her eyes! Her great-great-great-grandfather says he’s come to help her, but how? And how is she going to explain the ghost of her long-ago Gramps to her history project partner and her father?

Livia and James also penned another middle grade reader book for the younger set about a young Indian girl named Mockingbird that is just wonderful. Here’s a bit about MOCKINGBIRD AND BIG EARL:

They were an unlikely team, the big, gruff circuit court judge and the talkative Blackfoot girl. Together they travel across the Old West solving mysteries and bringing justice. Judge Earl Stark comes to El Paso to try the case of a man accused of a crime, but it's Mockingbird who finds the clues that lead to what really happened. A man's future depends on a missing dog, and it's up to Mockingbird to figure out the truth!
GUARDING HER HEART was the short story Livia penned for HEARTS AND SPURS, our PRP Valentine’s Day anthology. Another winning novella, and if you have not read this entire anthology, you’re in for a very “sweet” surprise—for only $2.99!
Take a look at MENDING FENCES, Livia’s full-length western historical romance novel that is guaranteed to steal your heart and your imagination! Right now, you can snap it up for only .99! Yep, that’s normally what you’d pay for a novella or short story! And with this gorgeous new cover, you can’t go wrong on what’s inside.
Livia’s latest novella, THE BRIDE AND THE BADGE, was written for one of the summer anthologies that PRP produced in May. If you’re looking for suspense, action and romance all mixed together, give THE BRIDE AND THE BADGE a read, as well as the other stories inside this collection!

Was Emily just bait for an outlaw trap—or did she mean more than that to the handsome Texas Ranger?

For these and all the other PRP books, visit our website here:

For all of LIVIA'S BOOKS, visit her AUTHOR PAGE:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

You Can’t Outdraw the Ozark Belle—and a Giveaway!

An unwritten law in the Old West remains true to this day: Never draw on someone who can out-shoot you.

This deceptively sweet-looking woman
is a crack shot with a six-gun.
Though none of the Prairie Roses is overly concerned about being gunned down by Tracy “Ozark Belle” Garrett, one thought remains in the back of our minds: She could, if she wanted to, plug every one of us. After all, she and her husband, Ozark Shark, are members of the Cowboy Single Action Shooting Society. They’re quick, and they’re deadly.

Tracy is also an accomplished musician…but it’s the weapons thing that keeps us polite around these parts.

Aside from her prowess with six-guns and instruments, Tracy is a talented author of western historical romance and one of the original Prairie Roses. So far, she has contributed stories to Wishing for a Cowboy, Hearts and Spurs, Lassoing a Bride, and Lassoing a Groom. She possesses a remarkable ability to create settings and situations that make characters come alive.

Tracy’s most recent release is the novella Her Christmas Wish. Originally published in the PRP anthology Wishing for a Cowboy, the story twists the enduring star-crossed lovers plot, giving Romeo and Juliet the happy ending they deserved but were denied.

Her Christmas Wish
Parental disapproval separated Kathryn and Will as young adults, before they could marry. A decade later, widowed Kathryn mourns the loss of her youth while honoring her late husband’s dream by tending his stagecoach stop in the middle of nowhere. An unexpected reunion with the man she never forgot—and his explanation for his sudden disappearance on the eve of their elopement—leaves her confused and angry.

Tracy wove freshness onto a well-worn framework. Plausible situations, behaviors, and emotions create very real doubt the characters will work out their differences and find a happily-ever-after ending. They do, in a most sigh-worthy way.

In May, Tracy’s stories were included in the anthologies Lassoing a Bride and Lassoing a Groom. The two shorts are related, and that type of writing presents a challenge for any author. Tracy climbed the hill with aplomb, producing excellent romances overflowing with warmth.

“No Less Than Forever”
Doctor Franz Bittner is satisfied with his life as it is. He has a good practice in a place where he is respected, in spite of his German birth. He has good friends and enough income to provide him with a few comforts. A wife would only complicate things. Then a tiny blond stranger is pulled from the river and everything changes. With one smile she captures his attention—and steals his heart.

Rebekah Snow Redmann barely survived her abusive husband’s attack. Though she was given to him to pay her father’s debts, she’d rather die than go back.  Then she ends up in the care of the handsome local doctor and he stitches up more than her wounds—he mends her soul. With him, she discovers everything that she believes she can never have...a love that will last forever.

“Wanted: The Sheriff”
Martha Bittner may be considered a spinster at twenty-seven, but she’s not planning to stay that way. For four years, she’s wanted the sheriff of River’s Bend, Missouri, to notice her as more than a friend and a really good cook. With the first annual spring dance only weeks away, Martha decides to announce her intentions—and declares the sheriff a wanted man.

Sheriff Matthew Tate always thought he was better off a bachelor. Growing up in Boston society, where marriage is a business transaction and wealth his greatest asset, he’s learned to distrust all women’s intentions. None of them even catch his eye anymore—until pretty Martha Bittner tells him exactly what she wants… and he wonders why he ever resisted capture.

Tracy’s story in the Valentine’s Day anthology Hearts and Spurs is equally delightful.

“Coming Home”
Sometimes it takes two to make dreams come true.

When a man who believes he’ll never have a home and family…
Former U.S. Marshal Jericho Hawken should have been shepherding a wagon train to new territory, but he unwillingly left them vulnerable to a vicious raider. The murder of the settlers he was supposed to be guarding is the hardest thing he’s ever had to face…until he meets the sister of one of the settlers.

…finds a woman who has lost everything…
Instead of a joyous reunion with her brother, Maryland Henry has come to River’s Bend to take responsibility for her three orphaned nieces. Fired from her teaching position and with no other family on whom to rely, Mary believes Jericho Hawken is responsible for all her woes. Or is he what she’s been searching for all along?

It takes a lot of forgiveness and a few fireworks to realize that together their dreams can come true.
Before joining the Roses, Tracy published two western romances with Zebra Books. Both received excellent reviews.

More about Tracy, including links to everywhere she lurks online, is here. Look her up and make friends. Trust us: Tracy is a sweetheart, but no one wants the Ozark Belle as an enemy.

To prove just how friendly she can be when not packing iron, Tracy will give a digital copy of Her Christmas Wish to two folks who are brave enough to leave a comment today. Please don’t forget to leave an email address!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It’s Not a Myth—and a Christmas in July Giveaway

By Kathleen Rice Adams

My first few months as a bona-fide fiction author have been quite a whirlwind. Between December 2013 and June 2014, I saw the publication of five 10,000-word short stories. Creating that much usable content in so short a time is a spritely clip for anyone, but for someone who works one full-time job and one part-time job—and, for a while, was caring for an invalid—the pace is a mite grueling.

I mention the above only to let other authors and aspiring authors know the myth of the bleary-eyed writer who exists on coffee and adrenaline while toiling away in hermit-like seclusion is not a myth. Such writers exist all over the world. Call us obsessive-compulsive, self-destructive, or just plain idiotic…but also call us happy. There’s nothing like wrestling ill-behaved fictional people into submission and seeing the results in print. Creating stories of all lengths fuels our very existence.

It’s true, you know: Some of us write not because we can, but because not writing would represent an emotional and intellectual death sentence.

The first novella-length story to emerge from the marathon writing jag was “Peaches,” which—like a first child—always will occupy a special place in my heart. Originally published in Prairie Rose Publications’ debut anthology Wishing for a Cowboy, it’s now available as a standalone read with a gorgeous cover created by PRP co-founder Livia Washburn Reasoner. Cheryl Pierson, PRP’s other co-founder, proved to be every author's dream as an editor. (Please buy a copy of Peaches. I’m begging you. Only if everyone on the planet succumbs to my totally self-serving plea will I ever be able to quit the day job and save what little remains of my sanity. At only 99 cents, it's a bargain. Really!)

Running a ranch and fending off three meddlesome aunts leaves Whit McCandless no time, and even less patience, for the prickly new schoolmarm’s greenhorn carelessness. The teacher needs educating before somebody gets hurt.

Ruth Avery can manage her children and her school just fine without interference from some philistine of a rancher. If he’d pay more attention to his cattle and less to her affairs, they’d both prosper.

He didn’t expect to need rescuing. She never intended to fall in love.

Wishing for a Cowboy remains a source of great pride for everyone at PRP. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, leaving all of us feeling a bit like Sally Field, seemingly awe-struck when she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in 1984’s Places in the Heart: “You like me. You really like me.” (The quote is erroneous, but it’s punchier than what Field actually said.)

I’m more disposed to echo Sean Penn’s parody of Field’s quote when he won the 1996 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead in Dead Man Walking: “You tolerate me. You really tolerate me.”

“Charlie’s Pie,” Livia J. Washburn’s story in WFAC, won the 2014 Peacemaker Award for Best Short Fiction. Considering her story competed head-to-head with one penned by legendary western author Jory Sherman, Livia’s win was quite an honor, and one she richly deserved. (Charlie’s Pie also is available now as a single.)

I hope to see the other four anthology stories I wrote over the past six months published as standalones, too. I’m equally proud of those. Please indulge me while I mention them.

“The Second-Best Ranger in Texas”
in Hearts and Spurs
His partner’s grisly death destroyed Texas Ranger Quinn Barclay. Cashiered for drunkenness and refusal to follow orders, he sets out to fulfill his partner’s dying request, armed only with a saloon girl’s name.

Sister María Tomás thought she wanted to become a nun, but five years as a postulant have convinced her childhood dreams aren’t always meant to be. At last ready to relinquish the temporary vows she never should have made, she begs the only man she trusts to collect her from a mission in the middle of nowhere.

When the ex-Ranger’s quest collides with the ex-nun’s plea in a burned-out border town, unexpected love blooms among shared memories of the dead man who was a brother to them both.

Too bad he was also the only man who could have warned them about the carnage to come.


“The Worst Outlaw in the West”

in Lassoing a Groom
Laredo Hawkins has one ambition: to redeem his family’s honor by pulling the first successful bank robbery in the Hawkins clan’s long, disappointing history. Spinster Prudence Barrett is desperate to save her family’s bank from her brother’s reckless investments. A chance encounter between the dime-novel bandit and the old maid may set the pair on a path to infamy…if either can find a map.

“The Big Uneasy”

in Lassoing a Mail-Order Bride
To escape the unthinkable with a man about whom she knows too much, New Orleans belle Josephine LaPierre agrees to marry a Texan about whom she knows nothing.

Falling in love with his brother was not part of her plan.

“Making Peace”

in Cowboy Cravings
After four long years in hell, Confederate cavalry officer Bennett Collier just wants to go home—assuming home still exists. Widowed Jayhawker Maggie Fannin will hold onto her home at any cost…even if she must face down the imposing Rebel soldier who accuses her of squatting. (Spicy.)

Peaches and ten other short, holiday-themed reads—plus three full-length novels and two boxed sets—are part of Prairie Rose Publications’ Christmas in July event. The complete list is available here.

Because I’m grateful to every reader who’s ever been kind enough (or brave enough) to give a debut author a chance, I’ll give away a copy of Peaches to two folks who comment today. Please don't forget to leave your email address.

Thank all of y’all for stopping by!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Hey everyone! Besides being part of our Christmas in July week, today is my very special day—my birthday! Now, a lot of women stop celebrating their birthdays as they get older, but I don’t. I’m glad to see each and every one of them come along,because it means that I have been blessed to still be walking on this earth. And even though I might not be able to do the “happy dance” for great moments in life as lithely as I once did, I’m still able to shuffle along and do SOME kind of a dance when something wonderful comes my way! (And I'm just praying no one is watching!)


So today, I want to share with you how excited I am to be a part of Prairie Rose Publications and offer a giveaway of my own of one of my brand new re-releases that came out this week just in time for Christmas in July!


Know who else has a July birthday? MIZ JACQUIE ROGERS! Hers is the day before mine, on the 27th! Jacquie’s a special friend of mine, and in her honor, I also want to list our Christmas anthology, WISHING FOR A COWBOY today! Jacquie's story, A GIFT FOR RHODA, appears in WISHING FOR A COWBOY, along with stories by seven other Prairie Roses. This anthology is a real steal of a deal for only $2.99 and is also available in print!

HOMECOMING is a short story I wrote a few years ago about a Union officer, Jack Durham, who finds his own special piece of heaven on Christmas. I love "twist" endings, and this definitely has one of those! All of these "single sell" short stories are just .99 each! Or, for a special deal, snap up my single author anthology A HERO FOR CHRISTMAS with four short novellas for only $2.99.


MEANT TO BE--Robin Mallory is shocked when she is tackled and captured by a man in a Confederate uniform. A flat tire and a coming snowstorm have stranded her in the middle of a re-enactment – or is it?
Meant To Be

A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES--Widow Angela Bentley takes in three children and a wounded gunman one snowy Christmas Eve. Angela determines to keep her distance—until the children drag in a scraggly Christmas tree. Will she find love on this, A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES?a>
A Night For Miracles

THE GUNFIGHTER'S GIRL--Persuaded by a vendor, Miguel Rivera ~ El Diablo ~ makes a foolish purchase—scarlet ribbons. Will they, and a mysterious meeting, set him on a new path? Can he find his way back to the love he left years before?

If you're looking for a bargain, you can get all four of these single sell Christmas stories in my single author anthology, A HERO FOR CHRISTMAS for only $2.99. That will save you a buck!

Last but certainly not least is my brand new novella release, OUTLAW'S KISS, taken from the 2013 Christmas anthology from PRP, WISHING FOR A COWBOY. I love this story because in true Christmas fashion, everyone gets their "happily ever after" ending--even the villain!
OUTLAW'S KISS--A long-ago schooldays crush is rekindled by an Outlaw's Kiss that sparks true love, and a new future for Jake Morgan and Talia Delano.

Thanks so much for joining me today here at the PRP blog for this segment of CHRISTMAS IN JULY! I'm giving away prizes to two lucky winners today. One person will win a digital copy of OUTLAW'S KISS and another will win a SIGNED PRINT COPY of WISHING FOR A COWBOY! Please leave a comment in the comments section along with your contact info in case you are one of my winners!


Sunday, July 27, 2014


Since this is the week of the our big cowboy shebang as well as CHRISTMAS IN JULY I thought I’d mix the two up some today and talk about Sarah McNeal’s Wilding series.

Sarah’s stories bring us into the 20th century with her Wilding family saga. And what a wonderful family she has created!

The series starts with a time travel novel, HARMONICA JOE’S RELUCTANT BRIDE, when a 21st century heroine tries on some clothing from an old trunk in the attic and…well, let’s just say, the next thing she knows, she is the property and bride of “Harmonica” Joe Wilding. How is she going to get herself out of this fix? You’ll have to read to find out—because she faces quite a dilemma once she begins to fall for the handsome doctor…

Her follow-up book, FOR LOVE OF BANJO, takes the hero, Banjo Wilding, adopted brother of Joe Wilding, into the trenches of WWI. Chasing the dream of finally meeting his father and getting to know him, Banjo risks everything—even the love of the woman he’s sworn to love until the end of time. He travels to New York City, unsure of what his future holds. When the US becomes embroiled in WWI, Banjo enlists and heads overseas. Will Maggie wait for him? How can he ask Maggie to wait for him, when he may not escape with his life?

Sarah’s story in the first PRP Christmas anthology, WISHING FOR A COWBOY, follows the Wildings back in Wyoming. A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS is the story of Jane Pierpont, the widowed mother of a young boy, Rob, who Banjo rescues from a factory fire in New York City. Jane and Rob travel back to Wyoming with Maggie from New York City where Jane will become a seamstress. What she can’t ever imagine is falling in love again—after losing her husband on the Titanic a few years earlier. But an unlikely suitor, Teekonka Red Sky, is determined to win her love in the face of all odds against them.

FLY AWAY HEART is a wonderful novella about Rob, Jane’s son, during the Prohibition days of the 1920’s and early 1930’s here in the USA. Rob dreams of flying an old airplane he’s bartered for and fixed up—but will his dream turn into dust when he’s forced to use his skills for rum runners to save the woman he loves?

HEARTS AND SPURS was PRP’s first Valentine’s Day anthology, and Sarah’s story, HOLLOW HEART, continues the Wilding saga on into the 1940’s with the advent of WWII. Will the annual Hazard Valentine’s Ball bring only sadness to Madeline Andrews? Or will her true love, Sam, return to her, if only in memories?

Most recently, Sarah penned a story for one of PRP’s summer anthologies, LASSOING A BRIDE. Her continuation of the Wilding family’s story with UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS was a real treat—with a very unexpected story line! Will Juliet Wilding turn down a chance for true love, or will she come around in time to embrace her heart’s desire? Wilding women can be a stubborn lot—sometimes, too stubborn!

Sarah has many more Wilding stories up her sleeve, and we are delighted and thrilled that she has chosen Prairie Rose Publications as her “Wilding” publishing home!

A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS has just been released as a single-sell short story and it’s available NOW!
Sarah will be giving away an e-copy of HARMONICA JOE’S RELUCTANT BRIDE to one lucky commenter, and to another, A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS! Be sure to leave your contact info in the comments section in case YOU are one of the lucky winners! And join us tomorrow for more CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

If you can’t wait until tomorrow, here’s the CHRISTMAS IN JULY link!

Saturday, July 26, 2014


What’s better than a slice of cold watermelon on a hot July day? How about CHRISTMAS IN JULY! Yep, here at Prairie Rose Publications, we’re celebrating early and trying to drive off the heat for a spell!

Did y’all know that the National Day of the American Cowboy is a legally observed day now here in the good ol’ US of A? Well, it might just be one day that’s legally observed, but here at PRP, we think it deserves a whole week! And we’re celebrating with our Christmas stories, combined to make one doozy of a holiday sale—CHRISTMAS IN JULY! If you’re curious, here’s what the resolution has to say about it. Take a look and then we’ll talk about how WE’RE celebrating!

This resolution recognizes the important role that the cowboy has played in the American West and calls on people to celebrate the cowboy’s influence on our history and culture.

Designating July 26, 2014, as ‘‘National Day of the American Cowboy’’.

Whereas pioneering men and women, recognized as ‘‘cowboys’’, helped to establish the American West; Whereas the cowboy embodies honesty, integrity, courage, compassion, respect, a strong work ethic, and patriotism; Whereas the cowboy spirit exemplifies strength of character, sound family values, and good common sense; Whereas the cowboy archetype transcends ethnicity, gender, geographic boundaries, and political affiliations; Whereas the cowboy, who lives off the land and works to protect and enhance the environment, is an excellent steward of the land and its creatures; Whereas cowboy traditions have been a part of American culture for generations; Whereas the cowboy continues to be an important part of the economy through the work of many thousands of ranchers across the United States who contribute to the economic well-being of every State;

Whereas millions of fans watch professional and working ranch rodeo events annually, making rodeo one of the most-watched sports in the United States; Whereas membership and participation in rodeo and other organizations that promote and encompass the livelihood of cowboys span every generation and transcend race and gender; Whereas the cowboy is a central figure in literature, film, and music and occupies a central place in the public imagination; Whereas the cowboy is an American icon; and Whereas the ongoing contributions made by cowboys and cowgirls to their communities should be recognized and encouraged: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) designates July 26, 2014, as ‘‘National Day of the American Cowboy’’; and
(2) encourages the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

WHEW! Well dang it, we already knew all that, since we write so much about cowboys in our stories, didn’t we? Still, it’s good to know that our lawmakers got SOMETHING right! And here’s what we’re doing for our part! Only we’re not celebrating for just one DAY—we’re carrying on for the entire WEEK! Because we know how y’all love cowboys, and one day just isn’t enough to do them justice.
We’ve got lots of great promotions this week at our website. Not only do we have our first Christmas anthology, WISHING FOR A COWBOY for sale (with eight wonderful, delicious cowboy stories in it!) we also have released each of these stories as “single sell” short stories for only .99 each!

You’ve read WISHING FOR A COWBOY? Well, how about some new stories you might not have tried? We’ve got those, too, both in single sell and anthology form, from Cheryl Pierson! Take a look at A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES, HOMECOMING, THE GUNFIGHTER'S GIRL, and MEANT TO BE!

We’ve got a new release from LOIS CARROLL, WITNESS ON THE RUN. And what about another new author you might not have tried, ANGELA RAINES? Her new release is called HOME FOR HIS HEART, and if you’re looking for a swoon-worthy cowboy, you’ll find one in both of these tales.

LIVIA REASONER has a full-length novel, MENDING FENCES for only .99 that you can snap up and add to your digital reading (also available in print).

But wait, there’s more! We’ve got giveaways going on every day during this week, and a grand prize that we’re giving away on Friday, August 1, to one lucky commenter. We’ll be drawing a name from everyone who commented during the week! Be sure to stop by every day and see what’s going on.

Our giveaway today is a "double whammy"! One lucky commenter will receive HOME FOR HIS HEART by Angela Raines, and another will receive WITNESS ON THE RUN by Lois Carroll! These are both brand new releases and though they are not Christmas stories, they're bound to warm your heart just like the cheery glow of a welcoming fire on a cold winter's night! Be sure to leave your contact information in your comment in case YOU are one of the winners!

If you just can't stand the suspense, you can head over to Amazon and pick up any of these reads at some great prices. Also, check out our new website to see what other stories might tempt you!