Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Summer, Bulls, and Romance by Paty Jager

After deciding at the beginning of the year that this would be an all mystery writing year, I have changed course a bit. 

After writing 3 mystery books in a row and finding I was mixing up my main character names in the two different series, I decided to clear my mind and write a Tumbling Creek Ranch novella. 

Writing the contemporary western romance was just what my brain needed. I already had the premise of the book written down as there will be 6 novellas in this series. This is novella #4. Collateral Love. Not sure it's a catchy title but it has the word love in it and gives a glimpse of how the hero and heroine get together.

Because the heroine is the owner of a roughstock bull company, I contacted twin sisters who began their own roughstock bull company right out of high school. My husband and I visited with them at 4-H dinners and watched them grow. When I contacted them, they were eager to answer my questions.

Since the first novella in this series had a heroine who rode bulls, I figured having a heroine who raised bulls wouldn't bother my readers. The only thing is at the beginning of the story, she is losing her ranch, welll,her deceased husband's ranch because of his gambling. The animals and equipment are in her name and the bank can't take that away, but she has no place to move to that she can afford.

The hero has purchased half of his family's ranch, but doesn't have the money to stock it with cattle or horses. When he goes to the bank to get a loan for livestock, the banker suggests  he strike up a deal with the owner of a roughstock company. The hero is liking the idea until he finds out the owner is the one girl in high school who bested him at every thing- including tractor driving. 

As always it is fun to visit the fictional people and places I make up for my series. Writing about Dawson, Montana and the Wallis and MacIntyre families was kind of like going to a family reunion.

The story is off to my critique partners and I've moved on to the next Gabriel Hawke Novel. Always moving to the next story. I'm so thankful that my imagination is always working overtime. 

I should have a cover and release date for this book by next month.  If you want to know when it will release sooner, you can follow me on Facebook  or join my newsletter:

Enjoy July! 

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 46 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

This is what Romance Junkies has to say about the Tumbling Creek Ranch series: “There are twists and turns to the story with a nice flow and a depth to the characters. The vivid scenic descriptions made me feel like I was there… I hope to return to Tumbling Creek Ranch over and over again.”

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest   / Bookbub

Friday, July 10, 2020

What U Need to Survive An Apocalypse (Besides #Books)

Take the title of this blog post tongue-in-cheek (sort of).

Do you remember when we first heard about the Corona Virus and thousands of people started hoarding toilet paper? And Lysol?

To this day, I still cannot find one spray can of Lysol in any of my local stores. Thank goodness, my daughter had an extra can and sent it my way. I have no idea why people were hoarding toilet paper at that time because the
medical experts say 'diarrhea' was/is not a major symptom of Corona. 

That hoarding sent me down a road of thinking what I REALLY would need in case the world came to an end . . . or in case this virus crap lasts for another year or so. So . . . I did some research about what survivalists (or preppers) stock up on routinely. Here's my list:

What to buy for a post-apocalyptic world (non-perishables)

Honey can last for centuries if stored in a sealed jar, according to the National Honey Board. It will also appease your 'sweet tooth."

Invented by Native Americans, pemmican was traditionally made from the lean meat of large game like buffalo, elk, or deer. The meat was dried over an open fire, mixed with fat, and pressed into little cakes. Sometimes berries were tossed in for extra flavor.

Here's a recipe for homemade pemmican — for when your post-apocalyptic-self butchers an elk — which can supposedly last forever.
What you need:

    1 1/2 lbs of lean, grass-fed shoulder roast
    Salt and pepper
    Fresh or frozen wild blueberries
    Grass-fed bison or beef kidney fat, leaf fat, suet, or tallow

Let the meat firm up in the freezer, then slice it thin. After adding liberal amounts of salt and pepper, set the oven to the lowest possible temperature (150 degrees) and lay out the strips of meat directly onto a rack. Keep the oven door slightly open to prevent moisture buildup.

If you don't want to make your own there are a gazillion places that sell pemmican: CLICK HERE or Google "Pemmican" and you'll find lots of places to buy online.

MREs (Meals Ready to Eat)

These pre-packaged meals have been sustaining American troops on the battlefield since 1981. Each foil pouch, which can be easily carried, prepared, and eaten, contains about 1,200 calories. Where you can buy MRE’s or again, Google it. 

I'm not suggesting you should rush out and 'hoard' anything, but I am suggesting that we've had our first taste of what it's like when our 'normal' world/lifestyle has been turned upside down. I don't know about you, but I'm going to make sure I have a small stash of some of these prepper foods. 


SKY TINTED WATER - Book 1, Clean Historical Romance 

* Nominated for a RONE Award, * Mystery/Suspense

Rory Hudson arrives in Minnesota with her sister and brother-in-law to start a new life. Love is the last thing on Rory's mind but after one look at Dawson Finch, emotions she never knew existed stir her heart and soul.

When Dawson enlists in the army to bring peace to a nation divided, Rory’s world plummets into a tailspin. Someone is intent on harming her and someone has sworn to protect her in her husband's absence.

Despite the time and distance separating them, Rory and Dawson’s love can never be destroyed.

Praise for Sky Tinted Water

"Sweet historical novel" delivers just that." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"There are themes and aspects of this story that I love, love, love. I am fascinated by the period of history surrounding the US Civil War. The Sioux uprising is also *very* sad (for a variety of reasons) and thoroughly compelling." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"Exactly what it promises and so much more." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

" I enjoyed every minute of it, and would not hesitate to pick up another of Keta Diablo's books. I give this a firm five of five stars and urge you to give this book a try." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

 Book 2- Sky Dance
Book 3- Sky Dreams
Also Available

Thanks so much for stopping by Smart Girls Read Romance!

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Hemmingway Cats- Sherri Easley

In my May article, I talked about my obsession with my tailless cat, Bobbin the Manx. I indicated I was thinking about finding him and my tuxedo kitty, Button, a playmate. In my search, I came across what is known as a "polydactyl Manx" or a tailless cat with extra toes.

So, count your kitty's toes. If he is like most cats, he as five toes on each front paw and four on each rear for a total of 18. If you kitty is polydactyl, however, he might as as many as eight toes on any of his paws. The word is Greek in origin with "poly" meaning "many" and "daktylos" meaning "digits". 

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Jake, a ginger tabby from Canada holds the record with seven toes on each paw for a grand total of 28.

Most Polydactyl cats have extra toes on their front paws that can resemble a thumb. It seems to make them look like he is wear mittens, thus some people call them "mitten cats". These extra digits are not opposable, meaning that toe can't touch the rest of his digits like we can with our thumb.

The polydactyl trait can occur in any cat breed, although is common in Maine Coons. At one time, 40% of all Maine Coon had these doublewide paws with extra digits which functioned as natural snowshoes- useful in the state of Maine.  While the numbers have declined, Maine Coon polydactyls are still recognized as an official breed by many cat fanciers.

As cat tales go, it is rumored that polydactyl cats were popular on ships because they were excellent mouse hunters and those extra toes helped them with balance on the rocky seas. This could explain their widespread presence today, predominantly in the United States, Canada, England and Wales.

In 1930, Stanley Dexter, a ship’s captain believed these multi-toed cats were good luck and gave a cat, Snow White, to writer Ernest Hemmingway. History is a little bit fuzzy on this and some articles say the cats name was Snowball.

Because of Hemmingway love for these cats, they are often known as “Hemmingway Cats.”

Today, there are forty or fifty polydactyl cats living at the Hemingway House despite the writer’s passing in 1961. Some of the cats are descendants of Snow White and all were born onsite.

The Hemingway House and Museum website notes that Hemingway named all of his cats after famous people, a tradition the curators continue today. Over the years, cats have been named after everyone from Zane Grey and Marilyn Monroe to president “Hairy” Truman, Fats Waller, Kermit “Shine” Forbes, Truman Capote, Bugsy Siegel, Billie Holiday, and Cary Grant.  

The Hemmingway House is open to the public as a museum in Key West,