Wednesday, December 30, 2015


By Ashley Kath-Bilsky

“I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever…and the more I considered the subject, the bigger the forever loomed. Without knowing how to do it, I began to record some facts around me, and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded.” ~ Frederic Remington

[Pictured: The Old Stage-Coach of the Plains, Frederic Remington (1901); Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX]

As a writer of historical fiction, inspiration comes in many forms. If you are writing about the American West, or just interested in the period, one of the best ways to truly understand the scope of the land and its people is through art. And when it comes to images that captured the American West of the late 19th century, there are few artists whose work compares to FREDERIC REMINGTON.

The National Gallery of Art has called him “one of the most gifted interpreters of the American West”. Known for his realistic palette of colors, attention to detail, composition, shadows, and movement, one can look at his body of work and also see the evolution of a remarkable talent.

However, finding one’s destiny is not easy, especially when one is torn between what they love to do and the expectations of others.

The only child of Colonel Seth Pierrepont Remington and Clarissa Bascom Sackrider, Frederic Sackrider Remigton was born 04 October 1861 in Canton, New York.

Despite the fact he lived only 48 years, the work of Frederic Remington immortalizes a time, place, and way of life that still fascinates people throughout the world. Regardless of whatever artistic medium Remington used during his career, his legacy and talent has made him a visual historian of the American West.

Then again, when it comes to history, his family also held a remarkable presence in the history of America and its way of life. On his mother’s side, the Bascom relations came to America in the early 1600s, and founded Windsor, Connecticut. From England, the Remington family came to America in 1637.

[Pictured: Frederic Remington and his dog (1865); Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX]

Among Remington’s blood relations were George Catlin, portrait artist of American Indians, and Earl W. Bascom, a cowboy sculptor. The founder of the Remington Arms Company (America’s oldest gun manufacturer), Eliphalet Remington was also a cousin.

Additionally, three famous mountain men – Jonathan T. Warner, Robert ‘Doc’ Newell, and Jedediah S. Smith – were family relations. Whereas, his father must have inherited his leadership and military skills from another famous family relation—none other than George Washington, first President of the United States of America.

Colonel Remington served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was absent a great deal during the first four years of his son’s life. When the War ended, the family moved to Bloomington, Illinois where Colonel Remington worked briefly as editor for The Republican.

When Frederic was 6 years old, the family returned to Canton, New York. As a child, Frederic Remington loved being outdoors. Indeed, his love of the outdoors, of nature, of adventure, and the American West would define his destiny.

[Pictured: Frederic Remington (1870); Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX]

From an early age, he made sketches of soldiers and cowboys. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, riding, and swimming.

On the downside, he wasn’t a good student and his father, Colonel Remington, worried for his son’s future. Hopes of a military career for his only son, which included getting into West Point, might be a problem. Believing a more disciplined school would improve his son’s academics, the family moved to Ogdensburg, New York.

There, 11-year old Frederic attended the Vermont Episcopal Institute, and took his first official drawing lesson. Although he later attended another military school, Frederic showed no interest in a military career. Rather than excel at academics, he made caricatures and silhouettes of his classmates.

[Pictured: Frederic Remington (1874); Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX]

Not surprisingly, his natural ability and affinity for art pulled Remington to Yale University’s art school.

At Yale, he was the only student in his first year with none other than German-born painter John Henry Niemeyer as his instructor. Yet even at art school, he disliked the rigid formality of lessons. Drawing from still life did not interest him. He preferred drawing movement—or life in action. Although he played football at Yale, watching football and boxing matches proved more exciting to the destined artist. His first published drawing was a cartoon titled “bandaged football player” and appeared in the Yale Courant.

[Pictured: Frederic Remington as student at Yale; photo by Dow Studios,Canton, NY; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX]

In 1879, he left Yale to tend his father, suffering from tuberculosis. In 1880, Colonel Remington died at the age of fifty.

An uncle secured a clerical position for his nephew in Albany, New York, which enabled Frederic to return to Ogdensburg on weekends to continue courting his girlfriend.

Eva Adele Caten was two years older than Frederic, and a student at St. Lawrence University. When Eva’s father refused permission for the couple to marry, Remington briefly became a reporter at his uncle’s newspaper then pursued other short-term forms of employment.

Rather than return to art school, Remington embraced his yearning for adventure. With the help of his inheritance and other jobs for income, he traveled west to Montana. A bit of a dreamer, he thought to acquire a cattle operation or invest in a mining venture. He soon realized, however, he didn’t have enough funds.

In 1881, not yet 20 years old, Frederic Remington found himself surrounded by the American West. The sights and sounds resonated and triggered his talent for art.

He bore witness to battles between the United States Cavalry and various tribes of Native Americans. [Pictured: Through The Smoke Sprang The Daring Soldier, Frederic Remington (1897); Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX]

He saw unfenced, unending vistas of prairies, and herds of buffalo steadily being extinguished. Cowboys with skilled horsemanship. He felt the intense power of the sun upon parched land, and the bitter sting of snow, ice, and wind in winter. And he was there 25 years before Zane Grey and N.C. Wyeth.

A hasty sketch made on wrapping paper at this time, was mailed back East and became Remington’s first published sketch with Harper’s Weekly.

In 1883, wool trading and sheep ranching were very lucrative. So, Remington moved to Peabody, Kansas and invested his entire inheritance in a sheep ranch. However, it didn’t take long before the 22-year old found being a sheep rancher to be boring and too isolated.

Within a year, he sold the ranch and returned home. For his next venture, and with funds provided by his mother, he went to Kansas City and opened a hardware store. When that business failed, he invested what remained of his funds in half ownership of a saloon.

Remington returned to Ogdensburg in 1884. Believing his daughter’s determined suitor owned a hardware store, Eva Caten's father granted permission for her to marry Frederic Remington. The newlyweds traveled back to Kansas City. However, life in Kansas City was not what Eva expected. She didn't like the fact her husband was partner in a saloon, or that he spent time sketching the sordid people who patronized the business. When the truth of his occupation became known, Eva returned to Ogdensburg.

[Pictured: The Herd Boy, Frederic Remington; Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX]

Sometimes, one must hit rock bottom to find themselves. With his young wife gone, and the saloon not doing well, Frederic Remington pursued painting and drawing the American West as an occupation. In short order, he found success, and realized his art could become a profession. When he returned next to Ogdensburg, New York, he reunited with his wife with newfound hope in a career as a professional artist.

The couple moved to Brooklyn and Remington studied at the Art Students League of New York. Learning that newspapers were hungry for illustrations and articles about the West, Remington realized he had just what they needed. Soon, Harper’s Weekly and Collier’s published his sketches and illustrations. And on 06 January 1886, Frederic Remington became first page news, A full-page cover under his name was published in Harper’s Weekly. He was just 25 years old.

[Pictured: Aiding A Comrade by Frederic Remington (1890); Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX]

His increasing popularity brought new opportunity. In 1886, Remington was sent to Arizona by Harper’s Weekly. As artist-correspondent for the publication, his assignment was to cover the war between the United States Government and Geronimo. Although he was unable to paint Geronimo, he took the opportunity to refine his talent by authentically mastering what would become the Remington palette of colors that he witnessed in the West, particularly the shadows of horses.

[Pictured: The Blanket Signal, Frederic Remington (1894)]

In addition to continuing with commission work at Harper’s Weekly, Remington provided drawings for Outing Magazine. He produced ink and wash drawings for commercial reproductions.

In late 1887, 27-year old Frederic Remington received a commission to provide 83 illustrations for ‘Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail’, a book authored by none other than Theodore Roosevelt.

Before its publication, the book would be serialized in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. At that time, 29-year old Roosevelt felt he had a lot in common with Remington. He had also lost money on a ranch but had accumulated great knowledge and experience on the American West. Needless to say, the commission as illustrator not only gave Remington great recognition, it began a lifelong friendship with Theodore Roosevelt.

[Pictured: The Hunters' Supper by Frederic Remington (1909); National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma]

Harper’s Weekly (who now had first option to buy Remington’s work before he sold it elsewhere) promoted Frederic Remington as “He draws what he knows, and he knows what he draws.”

In 1890, 29-year old Remington had his first one-man show at the American Art Galleries, where 21 of his paintings were exhibited to critical acclaim.

That same year, Frederic and Eva moved to New Rochelle, New York where Remington could have a more extensive studio for work, as well as a rural lifestyle where he could enjoy horseback riding and the outdoors. The Gothic revival style house was named Endion by Remington, a word meaning “the place where I live” in the Ojibwa language.

Among the Army officers still embroiled with Indian battles, Frederic Remington was both respected and invited to document history. Given exclusive access to the soldiers, he became known as “The Soldier Artist”. As a side note, one cannot help but feel his father would be particularly proud of this title.

[Pictured: The Stampede by Frederic Remington (1908)]

Without question, Remington's paintings and illustrations of Indian tribes, cowboys, soldiers, weather, horses in motion, etc., documented the imagery of a place, a time, a way of life, and the diverse people who lived in the American West.

In many respects, he was the right person at the right time to witness and use his talent to visually preserve something that all too quickly was disappearing.

For people of his era, they were able to see the West. The shadows of the horses. The hues and colors of changing Seasons. The way the wind lifted the edge of a Indian’s blanket. The slashing rain and the unprotected rider, and the weathered lines on the faces of the people who called the American West their home.

Frederic Remington is now considered one of the great American artists. He produced over 3,000 paintings and illustrations. His work was published in Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s Monthly, Century Monthly Illustrated Magazine, Collier’s, Outing, Boy’s Life, and Cosmopolitan.

Many of his illustrations were accompanied by articles that he wrote. In fact, his magazine articles were published into works of fiction and non-fiction. His eight published titles are Pony Tracks (1895), A Rogers Ranger in the French and Indian War (1897), Crooked Trails (1898), Sundown Leflare (1899), Stories of Peace and War (1899), Men with the Bark On (1900), John Ermine of the Yellowstone (1902), and The Way of an Indian (1906).

For many, however, Remington is today best known for his bronze sculptures. In 1895, he produced his first work -- “The Broncho Buster”. Remington made 22 bronze sculptures before he died. [Pictured: The Bronco Buster by Frederic Remington (1895), Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas]

Frederic Remington died on 26 December 1909 after an emergency Appendectomy. He was 48 years old, survived by his beloved wife, Eva. [Note: Eva Remington died in 1918.] The couple had no children. At the funeral, one of Remington’s oldest friends, Almon Gunnison, gave the following eulogy.

“His versatility was surprising. He made his pen almost equally skillful with his brush. He learned the sculptor’s art, and created works which rivaled those of an age which was thought to have passed away. And his last work was his best. He built a new home away from the distracting throngs, that he might do the largest, finest work he ever did, because he believed that his past achievements had only taught him how to give expression to the finer visions which had hitherto eluded him. And then the end came. But his place in American art had been fixed. He was the acknowledged historian in pictorial form of the most precious age from an artistic and patriotic standpoint in our American life; its revelator and interpreter, and that place will forever be secure to him.”

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share the story of Frederic Remington, and his work. ~ AKB


Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg, NY

Monday, December 28, 2015


Ever since I came upon some of the weirdest vintage Easter cards I’d ever seen and blogged about those (in two parts, no less!) I’ve just been fascinated by some of the ideas that artists of the past have had for greeting cards. What in the world crossed their minds? Who did they think would enjoy these cards, much less pick them out of all the choices available to buy and send?

Evidently, I’m not the only one who has wondered. Take a look at some of these—they are beyond “odd”.

Yes. Scallops lamenting the absence of their friends (natives), so the card says—obviously the British. “May we soon see them again.” Uh…why? So they can eat us? MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Okay, maybe it’s just me, but…being wish “Compliments of the Season” by a boiling pan head imp that looks female on top and male on the bottom…well, that’s just plain weird. For some reason, this reminds me of the scene at the beginning of Bewitched when the pan boils over on the stove…

Downright creepy. An educated pigman. Or is it a boy? The hat looks like that of a young boy, but that face is anything but endearing. And why does he need the binoculars? “The better to spy on you with, my dear…” Oh, but he’s carrying a book, so at least he must be educated.

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a picture of a dead robin, does it? I mean, what could be more joyful? Nope…can’t think of much else that could come close.

Do y’all remember the picture on the Easter card of the rabbit carefully stepping out of his home to go hunting with the colored eggs all around him? That’s what this reminds me of. A sweet little dog with a rifle near at hand…just in case he needs it.

Well, what have we here? A frog that has been robbed and murdered by another one. But, let’s not forget to have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, shall we?

As long as we’re on the subject of frogs, how about this one? Beetle and frog having a Christmas waltz, while the dragonflies dance in the background and the giant mosquito plays the tambourine. Festive, right?

Merry Christmas! If you survive being mauled by the polar bear…

It’s hard to think what must have been going on inside the creative brains of these illustrators, isn’t it? Or…were they just toying with us? Maybe these were meant to be ridiculous and make us laugh. But wait…what’s that I hear? Crying children? Wings of a…LOOK OUT!

Above all, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, even if you’re fighting off polar bears, dancing with frogs, or running from wasps!

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Not an annual football game, but an economic crisis affecting the American heartland from Texas to Canada. The states most severely hit were Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and New Mexico. The crisis was documented by photographers, musicians, and authors, many of whom were hired during the Great Depression by the federal government. For instance, the Farm Security Administration hired numerous photographers to document the crisis. Artists such as Dorothea Lange captured what have become classic images of the dust storms and migrant families. Among her most well-known photographs is Destitute Pea Pickers in California. Mother of Seven Children, which depicted gaunt-looking Florence Owens Thompson. I’ve read that later Mrs. Thompson hated that photo, especially since she received no money from its distribution, but it has become iconic.

Florence Owens Thompson, photographed by
Dorothea Lange
In addition to photographers such as Dorothea Lange mentioned above, the work of independent artists was also influenced by the crises of the Dust Bowl and the Depression. Author John Steinbeck wrote OF MICE AND MEN (1937) and THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1939) about migrant workers and farm families displaced by the Dust Bowl. Many of the songs of folk singer Woody Guthrie are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when he traveled with displaced farmers from Oklahoma to California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour". 

Migrants also influenced musical culture wherever they went. Oklahoma migrants, in particular, were rural Southwesterners who carried their traditional country music to California. Today, the "Bakersfield Sound" describes this blend, which developed after the migrants brought country music to the city. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard are counted in with this group. Their new music inspired a proliferation of country dance halls as far south as Los Angeles.

As familiar as I was with the term, I wondered what caused the Dust Bowl. What I learned was that we did. Not you and I, of course, but mankind and circumstances he created. 

When I was growing up in West Texas, sandstorms were still a part of life we took for granted. So much a part of life for me, I included a sandstorm in a contemporary romance, HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME, and in a historical romance, THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP. Until I was grown and married and heard my husband, Hero, talking about how the deep plows ruined the land, I had no idea the sandstorms weren’t always as frequent as in the past century. 

The federal government encouraged settlement and development of the Plains for agriculture via the Homestead Act of 1862, offering settlers 160-acre plots. With the end of the Civil War in 1865 and the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, waves of new migrants and immigrants reached the Great Plains, and they greatly increased the acreage under cultivation. An unusually wet period in the Great Plains mistakenly led settlers and the federal government to believe that "rain follows the plow" (a popular phrase among real estate promoters) and that the climate of the region had changed permanently. While initial agricultural endeavors were primarily cattle ranching, the adverse effect of harsh winters on the cattle, beginning in 1886, a short drought in 1890, and general overgrazing, led many landowners to increase the amount of land under cultivation.

Amazing to learn that events in Europe helped create a Dust Bowl in the United States.

Disaster accelerated with the Russian Revolution and World War I and the shortage of wheat and other commodity crops they created. United States farmers were enticed to plow their grassland to meet the demand. For example, in the Llano Estacado of eastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas, the area of farmland was doubled between 1900 and 1920, then tripled again between 1925 and 1930. The agricultural methods favored by farmers during this period created the conditions for large-scale erosion under certain environmental conditions. The widespread conversion of the land by deep plowing and other soil preparation methods to enable agriculture eliminated the native grasses which had held the soil in place and helped retain moisture during dry periods. Increasing the poor conditions, cotton farmers left fields bare during winter months, when winds in the High Plains are highest, and burned the stubble as a means to control weeds prior to planting, thus depriving the soil of organic nutrients and surface vegetation.

Dust storm approaching a town

After fairly favorable climatic conditions in the 1920s with good rainfall and relatively moderate winters, which permitted increased settlement and cultivation in the Great Plains, the region entered an unusually dry era in the summer of 1930. During the next decade, the northern plains suffered four of their seven driest calendar years since 1895, Kansas four of its twelve driest, and the entire region south to West Texas lacked any period of above-normal rainfall until record rains hit in 1941. When severe drought struck the Great Plains region in the 1930s, it resulted in erosion and loss of topsoil because of farming practices at the time. The drought dried the topsoil and over time it became friable, reduced to a powdery consistency in some places. Without the indigenous grasses in place, the high winds that occur on the plains picked up the topsoil and created the massive dust storms that marked the Dust Bowl period. Persistent dry weather caused crops to fail, leaving the plowed fields exposed to wind erosion. The fine soil of the Great Plains was easily eroded and carried east by strong continental winds.

On November 11, 1933, a very strong dust storm stripped topsoil from desiccated South Dakota farmlands in just one of a series of severe dust storms that year. Beginning on May 9, 1934, a strong, two-day dust storm removed massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil in one of the worst such storms of the Dust Bowl. The dust clouds blew all the way to Chicago, where they deposited 12 million pounds of dust. Two days later, the same storm reached cities to the east, such as Cleveland, Buffalo, Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. That winter (1934–1935), red snow fell on New England.

On April 14, 1935, known as "Black Sunday", 20 of the worst "black blizzards" occurred across the entire sweep of the Great Plains, from Canada south to Texas. The dust storms caused extensive damage and turned the day to night; witnesses reported that they could not see five feet in front of them at certain points. Denver-based Associated Press reporter Robert E. Geiger happened to be in Boise City, Oklahoma that day. His story about Black Sunday marked the first appearance of the term Dust Bowl; it was coined by Edward Stanley, Kansas City news editor of the Associated Press, while rewriting Geiger's news story.

If you have never experienced a “black blizzard”, consider yourself fortunate. Even now the area has them. The last one I was in was about fifteen years ago on a visit to Lubbock. Black clouds rolled in, looking like a bad thunderstorm approaching—but instead of rain, they carried choking dust that infiltrated every window and vent. As an asthmatic, I was especially affected and could not get my breath. We had to cut short our visit to Hero’s mom and hurry east toward our home, trying to outdistance the storm.

California or Bust
In 1935, many families were forced to leave their farms and travel to other areas seeking work because of the drought (which at that time had already lasted four years). Dust Bowl conditions fomented an exodus of the displaced from Texas, Oklahoma, and the surrounding Great Plains to adjacent regions. More than 500,000 Americans were left homeless. Over 350 houses had to be torn down after one storm alone. The severe drought and dust storms had left many homeless, others had their mortgages foreclosed by banks, and others felt they had no choice but to abandon their farms in search of work. Many Americans migrated west looking for work. Parents packed up vehicles with their families and a few personal belongings, and headed west in search of work. Some residents of the Plains, especially in Kansas and Oklahoma, fell ill and died of dust pneumonia or malnutrition.

The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history within a short period of time. Between 1930 and 1940, approximately 3.5 million people moved out of the Plains states; of those, it is unknown how many moved to California. In just over one year, more than 86,000 people migrated to California. This number is more than the number of migrants to that area during the 1849 Gold Rush. Migrants abandoned farms in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico, but were often generally referred to as "Okies", "Arkies", or "Texies". Terms such as "Okies" and "Arkies" came to be known in the 1930s as the standard terms for those who had lost everything and were struggling the most during the Great Depression. Many of these Okies and Texies were my relatives who went to California to find work and a better life.

But did we learn from those times?

Farm land after Dust Bowl

The federal government had mobilized several New Deal agencies, principally the Soil Conservation Service formed in 1935, to promote farm rehabilitation. Working on the local level, the government instructed farmers to plant trees and grass to anchor the soil, to plow and terrace in contour patterns to hold rainwater, and to allow portions of farmland to lie fallow each year so the soil could regenerate. The government also purchased 11.3 million acres of sub-marginal land to keep it out of production. By 1941 much of the land was rehabilitated. But—you guessed, didn’t you?—the region repeated its mistakes during World War II as farmers again plowed up grassland to plant wheat when grain prices rose. Drought threatened another disaster in the 1950s, prompting Congress to subsidize farmers in restoring millions of acres of wheat back to grassland.

Let’s hope we’re better stewards of the land in the future.

Caroline Clemmons writes western historical and contemporary romances. Her latest release is PATIENCE, BRIDE OF WASHINGTON, #42 of the American Mail-Order Brides Series, on Wednesday, December 30th. Preorder now at Amazon


Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Husband for Christmas by Paty Jager

Everyone loves a series.

Following the lives of the family members and discovering new members and growing families.

That is how I've felt writing the Halsey Brothers series and the Halsey Homecoming Trilogy. And I believe my fans have enjoyed the journey. But I found myself running out of family members and still remain in the1800s, making it time to write the final Halsey story. 

After Staking Claim, readers wanted to know what happened to Shayla when she returned to England with Colin and Livvie. A Husband for Christmas is Shayla's story. She became a bit rebellious while in England and finds a way to come home to Sumpter and the Halseys for Christmas.

A Husband for Christmas
Final Novella in the Halsey Homecoming and Halsey Brothers Series

Shayla Halsey wanted to be home for Christmas, but never imagined her travels would include spending the night in a brooding stranger’s cabin. Snowballing events cause her to look inside herself and recognize maybe it wasn’t being home she wanted as much as it was to have a home.
Mace Walker has his life in order and doesn’t want it disrupted again. Yet, when he discovers a woman stranded in the snow, he has to help her—despite her overbearing and reckless fiancĂ©. In a matter of days, Shayla turns his life upside down and forces him to decide if he should leave town or face the consequences.

Nook –

Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Holiday Season and Happy, Healthy, 2016! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Surprise!

I have a Christmas Surprise for my readers! If you're a fan of the Yellowstone Series and the Teton Trilogy - the Walkers, Osbornes, and Russells got together for Christmas! 
I wasn't going to write a Christmas story this year, because I simply didn't think I'd have time. I had worked all summer on Yellowstone Origins, then had to get Emma, Bride of Kentucky (the 15th book in the American Mail Order Brides Series) done before its deadline, and by then, it was already well into November.

My editor told me that I needed to take a break, and not even start a new  book this year. I sort of agreed with her...for about a week. I had mentioned that I really wanted to write a Christmas novella that I had thought of last year, but I ran out of time then, too. A few days after she declared I needed to go on a break, she contacted me and said "you know, if you want to write that Christmas story, maybe you should do it."
So, I hit the keyboard, and, voila! the story that I wanted to write a year ago finally came to life. I loved bringing together the Walkers from the Teton Trilogy with the Osbornes and the Russells from the Yellowstone Series. The thought of, "what would happen if Lucas Walker ever got together with Chase Russell on an adventure," was too good to pass up. The possibilities were endless with those two!

The end result is a novella that was about 8,000 words longer than I had first anticipated (coming in at around 29,000 words), so that's good news for my readers. It was so much fun to write, and I hope you will love it, too!

So, here it is .... Teton Season of Joy (A Yellowstone and Teton Romance Series Crossover Christmas Novella!)


Lucas Walker's life couldn't be more different from a few years ago. Now married and expecting his first child, he wants nothing more than to provide a good home for his family.  With Christmas coming, he sets off to find the perfect surprise for his wife.

As Tori Walker approaches the time for her baby to be born, she is comforted by the expert care that surrounds her. However, winter in the mountains can turn deadly at the blink of an eye. When her prankster husband fails to return from a short hunting trip, she doesn't know whether to be angry or worried.

Christmas is a time to reminisce and enjoy family time. Young or old, all who gather in the Walker home this holiday can share memories of falling in love, being saved from near death, and not being able to imagine life without each other. When Lucas and his companion are feared lost in the wilderness, this holiday season may well be remembered as the season of mishaps, rather than a season of joy. 


“You’ll probably want to stay out of the kitchen,” Joseph warned, coming up next to him. “The women are baking pies and cookies, getting ready for a Christmas feast in a few days, and us menfolk are under strict orders not to touch anything unless they give permission.”
Lucas grinned. “Well, then I’d better go check in on them and sample some of what they’re cooking up.”
Joseph shook his head with an indulgent smile. “Suit yourself. The kitchen is hostile territory at the moment. You’re living dangerously if you go in there, but what else is new.”
Lucas shrugged off his brother’s words and followed his nose to the kitchen. He peered around the corner of the entry so he could survey the scene without being noticed right away. Girls giggled and chattered loudly. Must be Chase’s two youngest daughters, Hannah and Rebecca. His second-oldest, Kara, had just married a few years ago, and lived with her husband in St. Louis, as did his oldest, Emily.
“You know I’d normally have your back, Lucas,” Chase called from somewhere behind him. “Afraid we won’t be able to come rescue you if you get into trouble this time. The opposition is much too fierce.”

Lucas ignored his friend’s jab and let his eyes roam the room without walking in. It was always best to get a feel for what he was up against before confronting an adversary.


Peggy L Henderson
Western Historical and Time Travel Romance
“Where Adventure Awaits and Love is Timeless”

Award-Winning Author of:
Yellowstone Romance Series
Teton Romance Trilogy
Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series
Blemished Brides Western Historical Romance Series