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Characters do the darnedest things

I’d never wrtitten a short story before deciding to take the plunge and try to write one for the Valentine’s Day Anthology for PRP.  I’d been told by fellow authors that it could be harder than writing my regular long Historical Romances. So I thought I was prepared to face a challenge. And what a challenge it was. First I was almost 5,000 words over. It was indeed a chore to tighten, shorten, and get it down to less than 60 pages. When HOPES AND DREAMS  formed in my mind, I thought I knew exactly where and how my story would go.



WRONG! I knew I wanted a little girl who had lost her parents. The aunt (as legal guardian) would whisk her away from the clutches of the dastardly grandparents. And I’d have a sheriff who had been deceived by his former wife and now was sworn to uphold the law. How I’d work in something about Valentine’s Day seemed easy as I’d make the two somehow fall in love and bingo. What I didn’t know is as the story evolved, little Tori decided she wanted a new daddy and just about stole the show away from the hero and heroine.

I needed to get back on track. Yes Tori was adorable, she would play a leading role, but lo and behold, I couldn’t have her take the full limelight. It had to be the romance that drove the story.  SO, I had to draw the line and rewrite and finesse parts and parts and parts till I got it–at least I hope I got it–to just the right mix. So my story released just in time for Valentine’s Day and I, yes, I was tickled to be included with all the talented authors in the Anthology.

And as of June 24th, 2015, HOPES AND DREAMS got its own cover and was released as a single title as an ebook for $.99. That’s right. It’s part of the 21 stories in Christmas for July celebration. There’s Christmas stories, mail order brides, Valentine’s Day tales, and so much more, ranging from contemporary to historical to paranormalto westerns, and inspirational. You name it, it’s there. Some of the others had been single releases before or part of different anthologies, and now all are single titles from $.99 to $1.99. You’ll want to take a look at all of them. You’re sure to find one if not many that will delight you. And I am just pleased as punch to share the cover above that Livia did. I asked for Tori to be included and I just love how she did. I hope you agree.

Christmas in July you tube:


Thanks for joining me today. Also if you’re interested and read this before the end tonight, you may want to chat with numerous authors on our Fandango on FB to celebrate the Christmas in July. I lost internet for the past wk. due to a faulty modem but finally got this up today. So I apologize for being late and hope you see this in time. Enjoy. Love to all.


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Release June 25th, 2015 and what a celebration it is!



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Where does an author gets the facts? And was Johnny Appleseed a real person?

Did you ever wonder how an author obtains all that info that is peppered throughout the story. Whether it’s a Historical as I write or even a contemporary or paranormal, an author has to make sure of certain facts.
Well, yes, we authors might stretch the truths, change the names of a town or city, etc., etc, but certain things have to match OR ELSE we’d lose our readers before you got to page ten–maybe before that. Say if I set my story in Wyoming in the late 1880’s and had an apple orchard and there isn’t anyway in holy heaven you could raise apples back then or now in Wyoming then you would be turned off the minute I spit that info out in front of you. An author can write all sorts of believeable stuff if the setting is right and we tell you is so, Ex: E.T.–we could believe an alien came down and drand beer and ate M&M’s. But if he came down into a setting that didn’t seem real, you’d lose your connection and it wouldn’t pull you in.
So when I’m writing a Historical Romance I must look up certain areas or say for instance in my upcoming short story were there apples in Wyoming in the late 1800’s?–Da–got me. So to Google I go. WOW! It’s so much easier today to just do that verses looking it up in a book. But I digress. It IS a detriment however to have to look some of these historical facts up as I find myself reading on and on–totally absorbed in what I’ve found–when I really need to get back to writing or social media.
I wanted my heroine to raise apples for several reasons but it just seemed like fun to put apples and orchards into the story. AND to my surprise, little did I know. I thought, could have sworn, NYS and the state of Washington led the apple industry. How wrong–they may be leaders but there’s apples–all sorts of kinds of apples–throughout just about every state. Fascinating how little I really knew about such things. So today I want to tell you the biggest news I found. And maybe you know this already, I didn’t.
Johnny Appleseed was indeed a true person. Da again! I thought he was a fictional character. John Chapman actually, but his nickname was Johnny Appleseed. I could tell you about Johnny, but I will directly refer to the internet to Mr. Steve Miller–I could have sent you to the site but here it is.
And just below is the cover of my next book–released today, June 25, 2015, ebook and print. BRIGHTER TOMORROWS is a delightful short story within A COWBOY CELEBRATION to celebrate the Fourth of July. There are seven varied stories regarding the holiday within the covers with seven foods used for the celebration and those recipes all at the end for your enjoyment. What could be better. Happy reading about Johnny and the Fourth.  This is just so much fun–bye for now as I have to go look up more about horses.  Love and Best Wishes to all.

Heritage apples, Miller focuses on Wyoming Apple Project

Casper – Apples are an important produce staple that are used around the world, and the sweet apple was a critical resource in settling Wyoming.

“Wyoming’s stock growers hold the land where the apples still grow in Wyoming,” said University of Wyoming Botany Professor Steve Miller. “We are looking to find the last remnants of 19th and early 20th century planting that are struggling to survive in isolated and nearly forgotten or abandoned orchards of Wyoming.”

Apple origins

Apples originated in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China in high altitude, mountainous areas.

“It is interesting that the apple forests in those regions have survived for so long,” Miller explained.

While the apples produced in those forests don’t taste like the apples we are used to today, Miller said they are harvested regularly.

“Unfortunately, the trees are in danger because the high mountain areas are started to be urbanized and colonized by cabins,” he said. “We are in danger of losing 1,000s of years of genetic information.”

Henry David Thoreau commented, “It us remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.”

Apple varieties

There are a number of apple varieties.

“Apples are rare in that they are incapable of self-fertilization,” said Miller. “Producers must have multiple apple trees present to get any apples. They must be cross pollinated between varieties.”

When apples are pollinated, the cross-pollination necessary results in a new apple variety. Apples, as a result, are not planted from the seeds of the fruit, but rather by grafting the limbs.

Spreading the apple

Originally, it is believed that the Silk Road played a major role in bringing apples to Western Europe, and explorers likely transported the fruit to the Americas.

Johnny Appleseed, added Miller, is a real character who realized how important the apple was and would continue to be.

“At that time, apple trees were very valuable,” Miller commented. “They were necessary for most of the homesteaders.”

When the West was being settled, Miller noted that the U.S. government required homesteaders to plant an apple or pear orchard on their property.

“To make his living, Johnny Appleseed would go anywhere there were homesteaders,” he added, noting that Appleseed spread the seeds, rather than grafting apples.

Wyoming’s intro to apples

“Wyoming was involved in a lot of the homesteading through the West,” Miller continued, noting that many of the trails leading West came through Wyoming. “We are currently verifying this, but pictures of old forts, like Fort Laramie, indicate there were trees, and I would be willing to be they were apple trees.”

Miller said the earliest apple orchard he has been able to identify was planted in 1870 near Lander.

“At one point, there were about 3,000 trees planted in that orchard,” he noted. “An early bulletin from  horticulturalist Aven Nelson talked about apples. One of Nelson’s favorite trees was the ‘Wealthy’ cultivar, and it was probably the first apple tree planted in the state.”

The Wyoming State Experimental Fruit Farm near Lander was established in 1905 and, at one point, had 1,700 apples trees in 170 varieties.

“They had developed the apples for the high altitude, dry, drought-stricken and cold areas of Wyoming,” Miller said.

However, the superintendent of the farm, George Steinbreck, moved all of his records to a museum, rather than UW, when the facility closed, and the information is currently lost.

The Cheyenne Horticultural Field Station also took fruits to test for arid and semi-arid regions of the U.S. until 1970 when the mission of the station was changed.

Decline of apples

At one point, Miller notes that estimates show there may have been as many as 16,000 different apple cultivars in the U.S.

“Unfortunately, we are experiencing a severe loss of these cultivars,” he continued. “Only about 3,000 cultivars remain accessible to orchard keepers. Four out of five cultivars unique to North America have been lost.”

“The loss of diversity has really taken on a life of its own,” Miller commented. “It is really difficult to get beyond the four or five varieties of apples that the grocery store carries.”

In an effort to save some of the varieties developed in and unique to Wyoming, Miller was part of a group of concerned citizens who started the Wyoming Apple Project.

Wyoming Apple Projects

“These events led the Wyoming Apple Project to go into orchards to find individual trees and try to save the varieties out there,” Miller said. “We’ve started making a database of the information on apples in Wyoming.”

Miller further noted that some of the heirloom varieties left in the state of Wyoming have been able to survive 60 to 70 years unattended.

“These heirloom varieties would have been widely available in the late 1800s and early 1900s and include some that were developed in Lander and Cheyenne,” he said.

Further, the varieties that have been able to survive in such a long period unattended through difficult environmental conditions may be very important for horticulture.

“We have started a specimen orchard on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, and next year we will plant 300 trees on a new tract of land at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center,” Miller noted.

Gathering information

However, his current works involves locating important apple varieties that are on the verge of disappearing.

“I ask that anyone who knows anything about apples in the state to give me a call,” said Miller. “I’d love to hear about apples that people think were great and should be saved or about any orchards that landowners know about.”

Miller commented, “I’d love to get any information about where some of these lost orchards and varieties are so we can try to save them.”

Steve Miller can be reached at 307-766-2834 or .

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached .

Diverse fruit

Apples are used for much more than just eating, says University of Wyoming Botany Professor Steve Miller.

“People have planted their favorite varieties for fresh eating for a long time,” Miller said. “They are a very good nutritious substance. Apples have very high vitamin C, many other vitamins, good carbohydrates, and they can be stored for a very long period.”

In storage, apples retain their nutrition value. Apples also have many other uses.

“We have the American apple pie and apple fritters, apple butter and applesauce,” he continued. “Many years ago, people couldn’t go to the store and buy pectin, so they got it from cooking apple peels.”

Apple cider – both hard and sweet – are also produced from a variety of apples.

“Pioneers also made their own vinegar from apples,” said Miller. “Vinegar was a very good substance for a lot of reasons.”

Settlers used the vinegar for its medicinal qualities and as a food preservative.

The left over apple material can also be fed to livestock.

Importance of apples

State horticulturalist Aven Nelson talked about the importance of planting apples, particularly during times of war.

“Nelson considered two types of orchards – commercial and home orchards,” UW Botany Professor Steve Miller said. “Nelson said that if producers have an abundance of land that they should consider planting a commercial orchard. Nelson also said, ‘Planting the home orchard is a patriotic duty.’”

From 1905 to 1926, Nelson pushed apples and recommended both varieties of apples and the number of trees to be planted.

“Nelson said six trees would be ample for the average family, and 12 apple trees would provide extra fruit,” Miller said.

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Things are hopping!

First of all, let me tell you that you won’t want to miss out on a fabulous deal if you like or love Western Romances, be they historical, contemporary or parnormal–whatever. Ten ebook novels are wrapped up in 2 Boxed sets–yep, that’s right. Five outstanding stories in each set by five very talented Prairie Rose Publications authors. And each set is only $.99. What you ask? Can that be right. You betcha!

Just go to Amazon and order and you’ll be more than delighted not only with the variety of each story, but different slants on writing from the creators. Each story is packed full of fun, intrigue and heartwarming romance. What more could you ask for?

On this Cyber Monday of bargain-hunting, are you ready for one of the best deals of all? TWO BOXED SETS OF WESTERN ROMANCE NOVELS FOR .99 EACH! There are five Prairie Rose Publications novels in each set and they’re available at Amazon NOW. Hurry–they won’t last long–and for .99 per set this is a gift you can’t pass up–for yourself or someone else! These are still there ladies and gents so get on over now.

I apologize for not being able to copy and paste the pictures of each set. I’ve tried 3 times and it ain’t workin’. Blast it all! Yesterday I got the pictures over on different sites, but this blog isn’t allowing it right this minute, that’s for sure. But you’ll be able to pull up the pictures of covers when use the above links. Happy Reading!
 Besides this great deal for all you avid readers, I’d love for you stop over to the Romance Room and say hi to me. Sarah McNeal has graciously hosted me for the week on her blog. I started yesterday Dec. 1st and will be checking for comments on and off all week till Sunday the 7th. You can even win a FREE e book of All For Love if you comment and leave your email address as I’ll be giving a free copy to one of the commenters. So please come on over and join me as I tell you why I write Historicals and get a taste of my Sept. release All For Love. And I always love chatting with friends. Hope you’ll join me with this event. Here’s the link.
Hoping all of you had a glorious and Happy Thanksgiving. I know my husband and I did. We had our son, our daughter in law and two granddaughters from CT join us on Keuka Lake and we had a delightful time with them and a bunch of friends. Ate too much, you ask? Well of course we did. I’m trying desparately to lose a few more pounds and let me tell you, the pies, cookies and gravey didn’t help one bit. But I’m back to trying to behave. Trying I said. Okay, I’ll do better the rest of this week.
So happy reading ya’ll and I’ll be posting again before Christmas in between several booksignings. Oh did I tell you that All For Love has a students’ Christmas pageant and, surprisingly to the townfolks of Toleman, a Christmas wedding? So this time of year is a joy for me to have a Christmas story.
Love to all.

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See What’s Happening!

The Romance Reviews

Come join the fun at TRR! See all the new books and visit with some very exciting authors. It should be one a grand time.

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I’ve be worse than a kid skipping school

I’ve been gone for way too long, I know. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know I was feeling my way into the scary (for me) blog world. And I thought I had been doing a half way decent job for just beginning. However, and I’m not here on a pity party, or trying to make excuses I just–hopefully in a short version, need to apologize why I’ve been non-existant and explain why I left blogging. I riped my Right thumb tendon, had surgery and wore a hard cast for 8 wks, then a softer brace. It was literally impossible to write any amount of words on a blog or anything else–I had to do it one finger, one handed-ARGH! I was forced to stop some social media. It boiled down to blogging–I know and I’m sorry for that, but I knew I had to continue writing and at least do  short posts on FB, etc.

As soon as I totally recuped from that right hand, I had a right hip replacement–I put it bluntly. Severe pain, no sleep, and by the time the surgery was scheduled I did very little walking. Again my blog suffered while all else finally came back to normal. I’m doing great now and finished All For Love, submitted to Prairie Rose Publications, and no that book has released as of Sept. 18, 2014. It’s been a long haul to get here but I’m so excited to be amoung the living and to be picking up where I left off. I plan to do several posts in the near future, most likely posting every two weeks to start. I have information on the history of denim that think you’ll enjoy. In doing my research for All For Love I started questioning just when denim was first made and where. How the heck did cowboys take over the market on wearing denim? I asked. The internet is so wonderful. I found a fountain of information on and I believe it will interest you as well. There are so many items, events, ideas from our past that we never take the time to really look up and appreciate. So I’m hoping you’ll join me over the next month or two as I go from denim, to lady’s apparell, to dimestic science. That’s right. I just read an article on how women in the 19th century actually had books to tell them how to live their everyday lives. Some of the stuff will knock your socks off. So I hope you will indeed join me at this site and offer your opinions.

I’m told a smart author should offer tidbits and interesting posts on their blogs to readers rather than always just simply discussing their books and in turn doing promo. And I totally agree. So after today I’ll do those articles I just mentioned. But for now I just had to share my wonderful cover of All For Love. I’m just so very pleased with it. It is available in ebook–Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, print @ Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and wherever books are sold. Don’t you just love it? I sure do. So please join me in 2 wks.–I’ve got it marked on my calendar and we’ll talk about denim–and what woman can resist a good looking guy in denims? Especially he’s a cowboy or western fellow. Oh my!

All For Love

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Let’s not forget those lost or left behind…

Today is my birthday. It’s always a happy day. for me and I hope yours is too on your special day.  But eleven years ago, life and those around me became more dear to me than I could ever imagine. You most likely felt the same when you witnessed the horrific events that day.

I was a Public Health Nurse at the time and was in the County Bldg. packing supplies to go out and visit my homecare patients for the day. Just as one of the secretaries wished me a Happy Birthday, our educator who was on line yelled for everyone to come to her cubicle. I raced over with maybe twenty others–and watched the second tower get hit and go down. Dear God, I thought, what kind of sick joke was this? Then I saw the expression on the educator’s face and knew it was no joke. It was the real thing. But how could something like this happen? I asked myself. Surely this wasn’t possible. That day we, as everyone else throughout our great nation did, cried and mourned the senseless loss of so many as we stood as shock took hold.

Then I remembered my daughter-in-law was to be at a meeting in one of the towers that morning. To make a long story short–Thank God she had to cancel from attending her meeting, but unfortunately some of her partners went.  Whether we, individually, knew someone who died that day in the towers or those fighting to rescue others we all suffered a punishing blow to our pride and feeling of security as well as the devastation of losing so many lives.

So, I’m cutting this short today and asking each and every one of you to take a moment of silence to honor and remember those who either lost their lives in the towers or by fighting to rescue those who were down.  And when you’re done, please remember to give thanks that we live in such a great nation, that we have military, firefighters, police, Homeland Security–the list goes on–that serve to protect us all. God Bless America.

Thank you, Bev


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