March 31, 2010

Wedneday's Chow - Caramel-Pecan Pie

Today's the last day to comment on a blog post for a chance to win Smucker's Best-Loved Recipes cookbook, it's "Jam-packed with 35 incrededible recipes."  Also don't forget to stop by my website, and leave a message in my guestbook for a chance to win a footspa set, just in time for sandal season.  If I don't get a chance to draw a winner for these prizes on April 1st, I'll draw for them after Easter. 

Caramel-Pecan Pie
Smucker’s Best-Loved Recipes


3 eggs
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup (12-ounce jar) Smucker’s Caramel Topping
¼ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups pecan halves
1 (9-inc) unbaked pie shell


Preheat oven to 350° F. Beat eggs lightly with a fork in a medium bowl. Add sugar until dissolved. Add caramel topping and butter; stir until well blended. Stir in pecan halves. Pour filling into pie shell.

Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely on rack before serving. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats

March 29, 2010

A Sneak Peek at Writer's Conferences by Katie Hines

This past weekend I participated in an area writer's conference. There weren't a lot of attendees (maybe 60?), but I was excited because Jane Friedman, an editor from Writer's Digest, was going to be speaking and teaching several classes.

Then came the word: Jane was stuck at the airport and couldn't come after all. For any of the sessions.

I couldn't believe it! The one person I had really wanted to hear speak. Instead, the conference people scrambled and found others to fill her teaching spots. Doesn't pride come before a fall? Well, I found myself being prideful, thinking I couldn't learn anything from the other speakers, why I could probably--should probably--be a speaker myself!

How ridiculous were those ruminations?

These were folks with numerous publication credits under their belts, and I had to audacity to think I couldn't learn from them? Shame on me.

Turned out, the conference was dynamite, and I learned a ton. What a difference the right mindset makes. So don't fall into the trap that I did just because your favorite speaker isn't going to attend the conference you want to go to. There's ALWAYS a ton to learn, and I had the opportunity to learn a lot--once I changed my mindset.

Don't fall into the same trap I almost did! Go, learn, and improve your writing.

Katie's book, "Guardian," can be ordered through her publisher at

March 23, 2010

Wednesday's Chow - Buttery Black Raspberry Bars

Here's another recipe from Smucker’s Best-Loved Recipes cookbook....this month's prize for leaving a comment.  I haven't made it, but it looks delicious and easy...I'm also in for easy.

Buttery Black Raspberry Bars
From Smucker’s Best-Loved Recipes


1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 egg sugar
2 cups All-purpose or unbleached flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup Smucker’s Seedless Black Raspberry Jam


Preheat oven 325°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan. Beat butter in large bowl until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat until well blended. Gradually add flour, mixing thoroughly. Fold in walnuts.

Spoon half of batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Top with jam; cover with remaining batter.

Bake for 1 hour or until lightly browned. Cool and cut into 2X1-inch bars.

Makes 32 bars.

Anna Kathryn Lanier
Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats

March 22, 2010

Guest Blogger, Hywela Lyn - Romance That's 'Out Of This World'...

As the title says ... 'Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’ - that’s what I love writing – romance set on or in another world, sometimes a different planet, sometimes the vastness of space, and sometimes a world that might be our own, but in the future, or the distant past. The phrase was coined for me by fellow author, Cindy Spencer Pape,  some time ago, and I’ve used it ever since as my ‘tagline’. 

I suppose all writers find themselves ‘out of this world’ in a way, by the very process of writing. One creates characters, places and situations which might be similar to our own, in a familiar location and a contemporary setting or, conversely, completely different, in another age and surroundings we’ve never actually seen in ‘real life’. While we are writing, however, we ‘live' in that other world. experiencing its influence on our characters as we live, suffer and love with them.

My first attempts at ’serious’ writing as a teenager, were westerns, a way of transporting myself back into the world of the Old West, which fascinated me, not least, because I am a passionate horselover and, strong, goodlooking cowboys and their beautiful, faithful horses were a way to indulge my fantasies. As I matured, I realised there was more to it than horses and hunky cowboys, however. Brave men and women in an untamed land, working with nature and often having to fight to survive. Unknown dangers and undiscovered wonders, the exploration of a new frontier, all these combine to make up the romance that is the Old West of countless books and films.

So why do I write fantasy and futuristic if I’m so fond of the western genre? I hear you ask. Good question. The night sky has always fascinated me, all those stars, each one a sun, circled by its own planets. What would it be like to travel the stars and explore new worlds? What is life like on other planets? (I can’t believe that none of all those myriad stars out there don’t have planets that support life – beings who live – and love – as we do.) The concept of exploring space is pretty much the same as the opening up of the West. Explorers setting out on a journey into the unknown and facing dangers never before encountered, and occasionally being rewarded by something amazing that makes it worth all the risks. For me there is something inherently romantic about  this.

Romance. That’s the ‘keyword’, isn’t it? It took me a while to realise that every story I wrote had a strong love interest that was the core of the story. I’d never specifically thought of myself as a ‘romance writer’ but as soon as I admitted it to myself, I realised the truth of it. I’m at heart a ‘romantic’, therefore it’s only logical that I write romances, be they of this world or other, purely imaginary ones!

Even imaginary worlds have to be logical though, and based in reality.  However amazing or weird they are, they must seem to the reader to be possible, or she will throw the book down and read something less ‘far fetched.’  Many of my futuristic worlds are inspired by places I’ve actually seen, usually in my beloved Wales.  For instance, I incorporated several Welsh myths and legends in my story for the ‘Song of The Muses’ anthology ‘Dancing With Fate’, set against a background of the Welsh Mountains where I spent most of my life.
In ‘Starquest’ I have a scene on the snowy planet of Niflheim (itself based on Scandinavian landscapes and mythology) with mist drifting  across the mountains and  falling as pink snow.  This was based on an actual incident in Wales where I looked across at the hills from my home, and saw what I thought was  the mist rolling in and then realized it was not mist but drifting snow.  I’d read somewhere a long time ago, that in some parts of the world, minute plant forms drift down with snowflakes and turn it pink or green, and so my planet with pink snow was born.

Niflheim, planet of telepaths, takes up only a small part of the original story in ‘Starquest’ , but I became fond of the misty world and her people, especially Tamarith, who becomes a good friend of the heroine, and I ended up writing a sequel, entitled Children Of The Mist, which is mainly set on Niflheim and takes place about six years after the first book ends.

I really enjoyed writing both these books.  Starquest is that cliche ‘the book of my heart’ and I had such fun writing Children Of The Mist and learning more about the beautiful, misty planet of Niflheim.   Surprising what can spring from something as simple as watching the weather over the mountains!

Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt: from 'Children Of The Mist'

Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love: Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own. Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities.

Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late? Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love?
Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?
Tamarith stopped and gazed for a moment  across the water. The G-type sun, now fully risen,  caused the lake to shimmer like a veil of golden silk, with scarcely a ripple disturbing its calm. The  pastel-colored walls of the graceful buildings on the  shore reflected the glow of both suns. In the distance, the mountains encircling the settlement  reached high into the cerulean sky. The swirling  mist that hid their summits was as much a part of  Niflheim as the earth upon which she and Vidarh  stood.

She sensed his mind discreetly touch hers and realized he was staring at her keenly. She turned  back to face him, returning his questioning glance and studying him in turn.  Taller than average, and broad-shouldered,  today he wore a sleeveless, belted leather shirt over thick breeches, with long,  icecat-wool lined boots.  His upper arms were well muscled, his skin tanned as if he were used to working outdoors. His curly,  dark auburn hair, kept away from his face with a plain leather band, reached almost to his shoulders.It caught the sun’s rays and gleamed like the polished dark red wood of the trees that flanked the feet of the mountains.

She took in his clear, hazel eyes, with their  friendly twinkle, the long, straight nose, strong jaw  line and smiling mouth. He would have been  fighting off the local unattached young women if the  situation they found themselves in were not so  serious.  Not that she was particularly interested in his looks, or those of any other man, for that matter.

No, something else about Vidarh of Ragnak excited her curiosity.

If you’d like to find out more about my books, you can do so by visiting any of  my sites 
or you can email me at

I also contribute to several blogs, including my own,
My books can be purchased HERE
where you can also download my fantasy short story 'A Bargain With Death' for free. It's set in mediaeval England and is much lighter than it sounds.

March 19, 2010

Join Me Today!

Join me today at Seduced by History. I'm blogging about The Black Death---The Plague.  Leave a comment for a special prize.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick Day's

Sexy Comments & Profile Graphics

Sexy Comments & Profile Graphics

Wednesday's Chow - Smucker's Mandarin Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

Since we're still in Lent, I decided to do a meat-free main dish from "Smucker's Best-Loved Recipes" cookbook, this month's prize.

Smucker's Mandarin Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry


1 cup Smucker's Sweet Orange Marmalade
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tbsp, plus 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp fresh garlic, chopped
24 fresh jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups broccoli florets (about one bunch)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup water
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup chopped green onions
Cooked rice


Mix marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce and cornstarch in samll bowl. Stir until well blended and set aside.

Place large skillet or wok over high heat; heat one minute, then add oil.  Heat oil for 30 seconds, then add ginger, garlic and shrimp.  Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until shrimp begins to turn pink.  Remove shirmp, set aside.

Add broccoli and bell peppers to the skillet; cook over high heat for 1 minute.  Add water; cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.

Uncover skillet, increase heat to high. Add shrimp and marmalade mixture.  Cook for 2 minutes until sauce thickens and shrimp are completely cooked.  Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in green onions. Serve over rice.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats

March 16, 2010

What's your Day of Birth say about you?

I found this on the internet the other day and think it's interesting.  It explains your personality based on the day of the month you were born.  For example, I was born on the 19th of the month.  According to this horoscope:

19th: You are so self-sufficient that you may be miserable if you lack the independence you crave. If you're able to strike out on your own, you can thrive in a variety of fields.

Now, I discussed this with my friends, saying I didn't think of myself as independent.  Two of them argued back, telling me that I'm one of the most independent people they know.  One pointed out that I'd gone on a 3,500 mile car trip all by myself back in 2006 (except for one leg of the journey, about 500 miles, when I did have a shotgun rider).  So, I thought about it some more and I guess I am self-suffecient.  I'll go about getting things fixed on my own, without always discussing it with my husband.  Luckily, as the 3,500 mile car trip (to an RWA Conference and visit with friends) points out, my husband nurtures this need for independence. He may grumble when I ask to do things, but in the end, he ususally lets me do what I want.  This has included the car trip, flying twice to the East coast (once for a wedding and once for another RWA conference), a 1800 mile, one way, car trip with my then teenage daughters, and a 10 day trip to Europe with my older daughter and a group from her school.

I am now making plans to attend the Nashville RWA Conference, which I plan to drive to, hopefully with a friend, so I won't be alone on this 1,000 one-way trip.

Only one friend has talked to me about what his day said about him, and like me, he disagreed with it. But I had to disagree with his disagreement.  It says he loves change and excitment and will try new things and travel in order to acheive this.  I totally agree.  He's one of the busiest, most invovled people I know (sports, scouts, school) and, according to him, has visited every state in the lower 48 states, except one.

One thing I did find interesting - all three of grandchild's 'horoscopes' say that they will travel.  The brother and sister will both want to be globetrotters.  The other shares the same birthday as my friend above, which hints at the need to travel in order to achieve changes and excitment.  Hmmm, maybe they'll open a travel agency together.

Anyway, check this 'horoscope' out.  Do you agree with what it says about you or not?

Birthday Numerology

Leave a comment for a chance to win this month's prize - "Smucker's Best Loved Recipes" cookbook.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats

March 14, 2010

Guest Blogger: Paige Ryter on 'Pen names...why have one?'

Being 'famous' isn't all it's cracked up to be. Think about it. If you're a celebrity, where would you buy underwear without someone telling a tabloid about it? For example, my children just told me a Packers football player is student teaching in their school, so he can finish his teaching degree. He's a well-known player (we live in the Green Bay area of Wisconsin) and I asked my kids to get me an autograph. Nope…the man wants to remain anonymous so he can just get his degree for when he quits playing football.

As writers, many of us want to be known, to experience the thrill of being seen in stores and getting the attention of their readers. Not me. I have some extended family members who wouldn't treat me very well if they found out who I was. They'd consider me 'rich' and try to take my cash (that's almost funny when you look at what the average writer makes). So, when I began writing seriously, I knew I had to hide behind a persona—three, actually, for the different genres I write.

I have one pen name for writing Christian inspirationals and have been told to never disclose that name with any of my other names. Inspirational readers want their authors to be pure, never writing about anything immoral. Granted, I don't write immoral things (we have three teenagers in the house and they certainly don't need any ideas put in their heads), but some of the things I've written under other pen names are more laid-back. So my inspirational pen name (which shall remain nameless, but some people have figured it out) has become the 'moral' side of my personality, never writing anything close to being off-color, and never writing anything that's non-Christian. It's the way I want my children to live, and don't have to worry about them reading those titles.

Another pen name (Andie Alexander) is for my mysteries and adventures, all written in first person. That pen name is my laid-back name, the one who likes to travel and have fun in life. The stories for that name are fun, even though a murder, danger, or adventure is involved. Some of those stories are about people with weird jobs (like a celebrant—a eulogist) and strange things happening in life.

And the third name is Paige Ryter, a play on words (page writer). This pen name is for my contemporary romances, mostly sweet or very slightly sensual. In Paige's world, the hero and heroine are from different worlds, forced together by some twist of fate. I love romance and wish all men would read romances to take notes on how to treat women. I've tried to get my husband to read a romance of mine, but he's usually laughing hysterically after the first paragraph, saying it would never happen in real life. But think about it…if men would study how women love to be treated, wouldn't life be happier? Thus, Paige is the dreamer part of my personality.

So, not only secret agents want to remain anonymous in this world, but writers do as well. There are some parts of this country who make you register pen names, which defeats the purpose. But I've also known different authors who have been harassed because of their writing, wondering if they've written their sex scenes because they have no life or sleep around, or trying to scam an author out of money, just because their names are in the public eye. Not me. I'd rather become an anonymous multiple personality, with each of my names representing part of who I am. That way, I can go to the grocery store without a care and roll my eyes at my teenagers without worrying that someone, somewhere, will sell the thought to the tabloids if I become famous. And that's also why you'll never see my picture with any of my pen names…I can't be more than one person at once.

Do you have a pen name, or would you like to become someone else?

Paige (, also

March 13, 2010

Spring Forward Tonight!

Daylight Saving Times starts on Sunday, March 14th!  Spring Forward an hour (go from 1:00 to 2:00).  If you fail to do this, you'll be late for church...I know, because I forgot to spring forward one year!

March 12, 2010

Give the Gift of Reading

There's still time to help The Literacy Site raise funds for books for underprivileged children. Give the gift of's just a click away.

Click to Give to The Literacy Site

Anna Kathryn Lanier
Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats

March 10, 2010

Wednesday Chow - Smoked Turkey and Strawberry Spinach Salad

As promised, here's a recipe from the prize for this month's drawing : Smucker's Best Loved Recipes.  (ISBN 1-4127-2341-1) Just leave a comment on any post to be eligible to win.

Smoked Turkey and Strawberry Spinach Salad



1/2 cup Smucker's Strawberry Jelly
2 tbls red wine vinegar
2 tsp grated lemon peel


4 cups baby spinach
2 cups cubed, cooked smoked turkey or shrimp
1 1/3 cup sliced or halved fresh strawberries
1 (11-oz) can mandarin oranges, chilled and drained
2 thin slices of red onion, separated into rings


Combine jelly, vinegar and lemon peel in small saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat until jelly is mealted, stirring frequently.  Cool for 10 mins.

Arrange spinach, turkey, strawberries, oranges and onion rings on 4 individual salad plates.  Serve with dressing.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats

March 8, 2010

How Much Pressure is Too Much?

By Carole St-Laurent

For those of you with a day job, you know how much pressure at work can affect you. Sometimes, with a little pressure, the best comes out of you. A little too much and it’s the reverse.

I’m a stay at home mom. Or a full time writer, depending on the day. I’m in the process of completing my first manuscript. I don’t need anyone but yours truly to put the pressure on myself.

In January, I took an on-line class titled “How to Defeat Your Self-Defeating Behavior” by Margie Lawson. I learned how to slay my inner dragons and let my creativity soar.

During the month-long class, the exchanges between the teacher and the students became a snowball effect; we goaded each other in a positive way, and motivated ourselves to the finish line. There was such a ruckus in my office that all my dragons remained respectfully at a distance.

Then February came. The quiet came back. So did the dragons.

It’s so much easier to take on a bunch of monsters with a band of superheroes surrounding you. Now I had to apply what I learned in Ms. Lawson’s class by myself.

What did I learn?

Now it’s March and I need to regroup and put my foot down. I know what my dragons are:

a) Procrastination

b) Guilt

c) Perfectionism

d) Unrealistic Goal-Setting

First, everyday I repeat this to myself: Change is hard work: it is inconvenient and painful. So bite me.

To slay my procrastination dragon, I remind myself how good I feel when I just do it, when I sit down and write that scene.

I calm my guilt by accepting my decisions: I will clean house on Wednesday, and write on Tuesday and Thursday.

I defeat my perfectionism by writing forward: no more self-editing the heck out of my first few chapters. Doing this doesn’t help me in FINISHING the manuscript. (I have to admit here that’s the hardest thing ever for me to let go, but I promised the perfectionist in me that when it’s done, she’ll have her day.)

I set goals that I know I can achieve. Sometimes I get too ambitious, but I try not to let my inner negative voice bring me down.


What happens when I relapse? When I set too many goals in a week that I don’t achieve, which leads to guilt, which leads to procrastination? I sit down and review my yearly goals.

I have twenty-two scenes left before I reach THE END of my current WIP. I have seven blog articles to write and six online classes to coordinate until June.

The goal closest to my heart, the one I really, really want to reach is to finish my manuscript and make PRO before RWA’s conference in July.

I know I can do it.

I know I should be able to do it.

So why do I relapse some weeks and get myself late on my schedule?

When the fun takes a vacation…

I realized why last week.

I put too much pressure on myself. My inner voice has switched from negative to pushy: come one, finish, finish, finish! No time for fun stuff!

Ah, that’s where I went wrong!

I took the fun out of my writing. It started to feel like going to work every morning, to a job that’s uninspiring and soul crushing.

Meanwhile, my writing is so slow that all my other characters started to buck, because they want their turn in the spotlight, too. In my tunnel way of setting my goals, I had no time for them, and that was just another way to avoid a fun task.

So last week, I tried a different way to set my goals: I made time for the fun stuff. I did one character profile and now Little Jen went back inside my head, happy I listened to her. I tucked away her information for a later date, but at least it’s all down on paper and I won’t forget her.

I started an online class: how to draw Manga characters. I can do it at my leisure and it stirs my creativity. I liked it so much that I blogged about it last week.

What happened?

My WIP is back on track. I’m still two scenes behind schedule but I’m fairly certain I will be able to recoup them. Strange how adding more items on my to-do list help me DO more.

In a way, I didn’t really ADD anything. I just took a little pressure off, by transforming the times when I agonize over my WIP to do something creative. Then, with my inner pushy voice muzzled, my WIP became fun again.

Carole St-Laurent is a French-Canadian living in South Carolina. She’s hard at work to complete her first historical romance set during the French Revolution. She co-authors, with her writing partner, Sharon, a weekly blog titled Romance & Beyond.




March 5, 2010

Click to Give - The Literacy Site

Here's another fast way to help change the world.  Click to Give at The Literacy Site everyday to help raise funds for books for low income children.  According to the site:

Within the U.S., access to books is essential to reading development: the only variable that directly correlates with reading scores is the number of books in the home. However, most recent data describes a profound, even shocking gap: while the ratio of books to children in middle-income neighborhoods is approximately 13 books to 1 child, the ratio in low-income neighborhoods is 1 book to 300 children.* In addition, over 80 percent of childcare centers serving low-income children lack age-appropriate books. Together, The Literacy Site and its domestic partner, First Book, provide children from low-income families in the U.S. with books they can take home and keep.

*Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006, p. 31.

Another statistic I found interesting is that only an average of 80,000 people a day click on the site!  Wow.  I find that to be a very small number, although I admit, I don't click everyday.  Reading is not only a door to other worlds, it's a door that leads to a different life.  People who can read can do things in their lives they never thought to do, especially in countries with high illiteracy rates.

Now through March 15th, the site is doing a special 'fund raiser.'  The value of your click will be doubled by Pi Beta Phi and the site hopes to raise enough money to purchase 35,000 books for low income children.  With only ten days to go, they are FAR below this goal.  Click to Give the gift a reading.  It's that simple.

Click to Give at The Literacy Site.

Anna Kathryn

March 1, 2010

Guest Author -Rita Hestand

The Fun Behind Writing the Historical Western Romance

When I wrote Jodi's Journey, I had already bought two research books that I knew would help me along the way. Both were key books to research for my subjects in the novel. So what, you might ask. All historical writers research and buy books. Big deal. Well, yes, I thought it was. The first book I bought was a couple of years ago, called Contraception and Abortion in 19thCentury America. Wow! Yeah, what a topic huh? No one thinks about there being abortions way back, but there were and they were mostly discreet little facts. I ordered this book from a company that specializes in hard to find books. So needless to say it isn't a widely read book these days. But it sure had some interesting facts.

It was common in the 1800's for a woman to have anywhere from 12-17 children in her lifetime. Multiply that times how many months she had to carry the child and you have a lot of years for a woman to be pregnant. Pregnancies were also a large contributor to their early deaths. Women were lucky to live into their forties and fifites back then, because not only did they remain pregnant most of their married life, but they helped in the fields, cooked the meals, did the wash and took care of all the other children they had. So it is not astonishing to think that women had it hard back then and the only 100% way a woman could have sex and be assured of not having children is if the man used "withdrawal". But as you can imagine this was not popular with most husbands. And husbands could be quite demanding back then of their wives. Did you know that a woman could be sent to the insane Asylum for refusing her husband too often. Oh yes, it happened. Nevertheless most women looked on having to seek some way out of having so many children as a scandal and sin and blamed the doctors for giving them advice they ask for. This book covered most of the writers, lecturers and doctors that sometimes openly and other times not so openly spoke or wrote on the subject. It is a must have book if this topic comes up in your book. For it gives actual case histories of some women.

Another book I bought later, and read like crazy for three solid months was The Trail Drivers of Texas. Written by the acutal men who took part in trail drivers on the Texas trails. I bought this book in San Anotonio,at the Alamo store and it was packed full of information about the cowboy, the way they lived, thought, and the acutal problems they had on the trails. It was fascinating and informative. So many accounts of drovers and cattlemen that it was a fact book from beginning to end. This book allowed me to see the trail and to write the book, Jodi's Journey now coming out in March at Whimsical Publications.

Then after thoroughly reading all this, I went on line and discovered things like a new invention with coffee and talk about interesting. But I'm not gonna tell you all about it, you'll have to read Jodi's Journey to learn this one. This was taken off line on a research site, and it was absolutely thrilling to find it.

There's also a book called The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800's, which gives many different subjects to research, from what they wore, how they talked, what their jobs consisted of, how they traveled, what was carried in wagons, and on horseback by the cowboys.

With every historical writer, there is new and different ways to research but it is what you learn along the way that makes all of it not only entertaining but educational too.

So the next time you read a historical western romance, perhaps you will understand that the writer doesn't sit there and dream all this up, they have to delve deep into the history itself to write it correctly. It is fun, interesting and you sure learn a lot. That's why I write it!

Visit Rita at: