Tuesday, December 08, 2009

December New Releases

Hellie Jondoe
by Randall Platt

A heart of steel can't be stolen, unless the thief is Hellie Jondoe!

It's 1918. A war of nations is ending and a worldwide flu epidemic just heating up, but to thirteen-year-old Hellie, the only battle that counts is her own survival.

An orphan by four, a beggar by six, Hellie--as apprentice pickpocket to her brother Harry--is now "the best dang cannon of moveable property between Satan's Circus and Hell's Kitchen." She's as tough as she is resourceful . . . on her own turf.

But after a gang shootout coerces Hellie to head west on an orphan train, her plans to jump track are quickly derailed. Landing in the Hidden Hills, a ranch outside Pendleton, Oregon, Hellie meets her match in the domineering Scholastica Gorence, an elderly ranch woman to whom she is indentured for three years. To make matters worse, Hellie becomes the unwilling caretaker of Lizzie, a nearly blind girl, and Joey, a crippled toddler. The last thing Hellie wants is a family, but she is strapped with one now.

There's a time to cut and run, a time to stay and fight. Choosing which is right takes savvy, guts, and heart . . . all compelling Hellie to dig down deep.

Randall Platt writes fiction for adults and young adults--and those who don't own up to being either. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, she is the author of the Fe-As-Ko series of humorous westerns for adults as well as award-winning novels for younger readers. She lives outside Seattle, Washington.

This is what Kirkus Reviews has to say about it: This is solid historical fiction with a scrappy heroine who is genuinely tough and a true survivor. Irrepressible and irreverent.

Visit Randall Platt's website at:

Published by Texas Tech University Press

Purchase Hellie Jondoe at bookstores everywhere as well as online!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Social Networking

It has been awhile since I posted on this blog. To be honest, I have been busy with my own work and hadn't had much to say. That has changed and I want to just put a bit of a note about social networking for all of you.

I will say upfront, I don't have a cell phone (I like my downtime) but am pretty much attached to a computer both at home and the part time jobs I hold. I have been reading about social networking for some time now. It seemed overwhelming, but necessary. I bought books about the subject and read things online. None seem to get through my 'aging' brain. Finally I was at a luncheon where the topic was social networking. In 45 minutes it started to make sense.

With the dependence on computers, etc. it makes sense to stay in touch with people who are doing what you do. You can support and help others as they help you. For that reason alone it is worth the time. For business purposes it becomes a bit trickier.

You can use the network to build 'buzz' about you and your product. Is it fast? I think that for some it might be. For others it will take time. Is it worth it? That depends on what you want the end result to be. Placing 'free' information helps to build a brand name. Does it increase sales? For writers, the votes are still out on that one.

In the end, it seems social networking, with all the ins, outs and time consumption, is a personal choice. We write all the time. With social networking it looks to be what are we going to write. Build our name or write our book. We can do both, but one will take time from the other. It is a personal choice. Which ever choice you make, don't worry. The one thing that is sure, social networking is to here to stay. You can always join the madness later.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

October New Releases

Nancy Batson Crews
Alabama's First Lady of Flight

by Sarah B. Rickman

A riveting oral history/biography of a pioneering woman aviator.

This is the story of an uncommon woman--high school cheerleader, campus queen, airplane pilot, wife, mother, politician, business-woman--who epitomizes the struggles and freedoms of women in 20th-century America, as they first began to believe they could live full lives and demanded to do so. World War II offered women the opportunity to contribute to the work of the country, and Nancy Batson Crews was one woman who made the most of her privileged beginnings and youthful talents and opportunities.

In love with flying from the time she first saw Charles Lindbergh in Birmingham, (October 1927), Crews began her aviation career in 1939 as one of only five young women chosen for Civilian Pilot Training at the University of Alabama. Later, Crews became the 20th woman of 28 to qualify as an "Original" Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) pilot, employed during World War II shuttling P-38, P-47, and P-51 high-performance aircrafts from factory to staging areas and to and from maintenance and training sites. Before the war was over, 1,102 American women would qualify to fly Army airplanes. Many of these female pilots were forced out of aviation after the war as males returning from combat theater assignments took over their roles. But Crews continued to fly, from gliders to turbojets to J-3 Cubs, in a postwar career that began in California and then resumed in Alabama.

The author was a freelance journalist looking to write about the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) when she met an elderly, but still vital, Nancy Batson Crews. The former aviatrix held a reunion of the surviving nine WAFS for an interview with them and Crews, recording hours of her own testimony and remembrance before Crews's death from cancer in 2001. After helping lead the fight in the '70s for WASP to win veteran status, it was fitting that Nancy Batson Crews was buried with full military honors.

Sarah Byrn Rickman is a freelance journalist and award-winning author of Flight from Fear and The Originals: The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II.

Visit Sarah at

Jane Kirkpatrick is an international keynote speaker and author of 15 historical novels, including A Flickering Light and Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community, and Craft.

Visit Jane at

Published by The University of Alabama Press
The book can be purchased at, or

Autographed copies are available for purchase. Email Sarah at

(Releases October 8th)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

September New Releases

"Kidnapped," by Arletta Dawdy is featured in the Anthology,

Vintage Voices: Cent'Anni:May you live 100 Years,
which is the product of the Redwood Writers Club, one of the clubs under the umbrella of the California Writers Club, established 100 years ago by the likes of Jack London and Ina Coolbrith. The anthology is available at: for a donation of $12.

The ISBN is: 13:978-0-9816848
Paperback, 164 pages, Karen Batchelor, editor

Publisher: A Few Little Books, Cotati, CA

My story "Kidnapped," an excerpt from my historical novel BY GRACE, appears in the anthology. The launch party will be on Sept 26, 2009 from 2:00-4:00 pm at North Light Books& Cafe, 550 E. Cotati Ave., Cotati, CA 94931. I'll read at that time and hope any WWW members in the Bay Area who are able, will attend.

Susannah, A Lawyer:
From Tragedy to Triumph
By Ruth Rymer

Susannah Reed transforms a brutal attack on herself in 1877 into a passion for justice. Despite resistance from her parents, her fiance, society and even the United States Supreme Court, she emerges as one of America's first woman lawyers.

SUSANNAH, A LAWYER - From Tragedy to Triumph was officially released by Langdon Street Press, September 1, 2009.
Members can purchase it by going to my website: and ordering the book.

Purchasers can also get it directly from me, Ruth Rymer. Discounted price for WWWs: $14.00 + $4.00 = $18.00. Shipping and Handling out of California. Within California: add $1.00 toward sales tax or $19.00.

Life, Death and Rebirth in an Idaho Mining Town.
By Julie W. Weston

Julie's creative nonfiction book, THE GOOD TIMES ARE ALL GONE NOW: Life, Death and Rebirth in an Idaho Mining Town, released in 2009 from the University of Oklahoma Press, is a memoir of place, weaving the story of hard rock mining and labor strife, leavened with gambling, drinking and prostitution, together with the tale of teenage love and heartbreak in a juxtaposition of life in Kellogg, Idaho in the 1950s and '60s.

"An important portrait of the interior West--the true stuff, raw and gritty, honest to the bone."Craig Lesley, author of Burning Fence and Sky Fisherman

University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 978-0-8-61-4075-9
248 pages, 20 B&W Illus
Original Trade Paperback
Can be purchased here at OU Press, Indiebound (independent bookstores), Amazon and B&N

Visit Julie at

Friday, July 31, 2009

August New Releases

The Horse Who Helped Build the Great Railroad

By Shirley Raye Redmond
Illustrated by Lois Bradley

This is the true story of a sightless workhorse who helped build America's transcontinental railroad in 1863-1869. Telegraph operators tracked the rail workers' daily progress by asking, “Where's Blind Tom today?”
The horse became a minor celebrity as reporters around the country picked up the story of the tenacious blind horse. As informative as it is entertaining, this charmingly illustrated book includes a map of the railroad route, a “Things to Know” page, and a list of museums and Web sites with information about railroad history.

Mountain Press Publishing
Trade Paperback $10

Blind Tom, the Horse Who Helped Build the Great Railroad can be purchased from your local booksellers

Purchase here from

Purchase here from Barnes & Noble

Monday, July 06, 2009

July New Releases

The Trial of Oliver Lee and James Gililland
By W. Michael Farmer

A Novel Based On A True Story
It is Pat Garrett’s last big case. An eight-year old  boy is murdered. A deadly shootist is accused By Yankee Republicans, defended By Texas Democrats. The evidence is all circumstantial. The territory claims a murder conspiracy by the defendants. The defendants claim a territorial conspiracy for an unjust verdict. A wrong move by either side and blood will flow. New Mexico statehood will be set back fifty years. It is The trial of the century. 

“Conspiracy offers a dramatic, realistic take on a chapter of 

American western history that is often neglected; and with the 

presence of Pat Garrett, slayer of Billy the Kid, that seems 

impossible. W. Michael Farmer’s recreation of the tense and tragic 

events surrounding the ultimate betrayal of the frontier ideal reads like the great novel it is, with all the tantalizing detail of thoroughly Researched history.” 

Loren D. Estleman, author 

Of The Branch and The Scaffold                              

”Conspiracy crackles with tension and intrigue as the Old West comes to life. You can smell the leather and hear the gunshots in the air as you read. It's a truly fun historical work.” 

Christine Barber, author 

Of The Replacement Child 

Published by Sundowners, A Division of Treble Heart Books

Available for purchase here:

Visit W. Michael Farmer at

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

June New Releases

Survival In The Snow
By Ginger Wadsworth

For young readers ages 7 to 10, Survival in the Snow is a true adventure story about 17-year-old Moses Schallenberger.  In 1844 Moses came west to California in a wagon train.  He ended up living alone in a rustic log cabin on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. You'll have to read the book to find out why he was left behind and how he survived a long, lonely winter until he was rescued at what is now called Donner Lake.  Illustrated by Craig Orback.

Published by Millbrook Press

Visit Ginger at

To purchase call the Lerner Publishing Group at 1-800-328-4929, ISBN# 978-0-8225-7892-5 or ask your independent bookstore to order it.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

June New Releases

Black Bart: The Poet Bandit

Black Bart: The Poet Bandit
By Gail Jenner and Lou Legerton

BLACK BART: THE POET BANDIT follows the life of the infamous and enigmatic California highwayman and scourge of Wells Fargo, BLACK BART. The 55,000 word novel explores the person behind the flour-sack mask and plugged shotgun, Charles E. Boles, aka BLACK BART.

According to the authors, this is the first novel written about the man who successfully held up 28 of 29 Wells Fargo stages across Northern California and Southern Oregon. According to the authors, "All other volumes about Charles are exclusively about his holdups. This story portrays the man and his early life, as well as his criminal adventures. He really is a fascinating character."

Gail Jenner adds, "The story chronicles Bart¹s participation in the gold rush, the Civil War, where he fought admirably and advanced from private to first sergeant, his post-war years and failed marriage, several of his robberies, and even his purported love affair. The story ends with an epilogue that explores the known facts and myriad of tall tales related to his final years. To this day, Wells Fargo offers a reward for Black Bart.

Lou Legerton notes that "Though Bart was an outlaw, he possessed a great sense of humor, was well-liked and often called a gentleman."

Published by Infinity Publishing 

Visit Gail at

Purchase at Amazon,, or email


The Sacrifice of the Sage-Hen
By Susie Schade-Brewer

1859:  Pre-Civil War Independence, Missouri.  The people are restless -  the effects of prejudice and hate.  Blood has already been spilled by some from over the border, and there has been talk of war.

Feisty and full of restless rebellion, Charlotte Mary West - called Charlie by her friends - is concerned, but what captures her most frequent thought is finding relief from her own dreary and uneventful life. Grant, her husband of an arranged marriage, owns a general store in the embarkation town of Independence, Missouri. His only ambition is to make fistfuls of money selling supplies to the pioneers of the wagon trains leaving down the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails.  

But stocking shelves and waiting on customers has never been Charlie’s idea of adventure. Her dream is to return to the West where she was born, to explore the new land while it is yet new, to have part in settling it. Why if the world is offering a silver platter of opportunities to anyone who desires it is she not able to partake?

What is worse, her father and her best friend tell her they have joined a wagon train and will soon be leaving for Oregon.  She will be left behind, not only to spend her life working in a dreary store, but imprisoned by a loveless marriage. This cannot be! Charlie decides she will fight to live her dream!

Then tragedy strikes.  A devastating fire comes off the dry prairie and ravages half the town. Many buildings including West’s Mercantile burn to the ground.  Some of the townspeople are injured – and a few die, including Charlie’s husband. 

Now at only age 19, Charlie is a widow, no means of support - and quite unexpectedly - a mother to an orphaned mixed-race child. All her life, Charlie has been told what to do.  Now she must make every decision regarding her and her new daughter’s futures. 


Dirks Braelen is on the run from his life as a hired gun in Texas. He is ready to hang up his holster and try to find some peace for his soul. He may be ready to leave his old life behind, but the people he knew then may not let him. Till suddenly he meets a stranger – a feisty young woman with freckles and strawberry-blonde hair.  Immediately taken with her, he can’t help but wonder, does she hold the key to his future happiness?

Dirks is trying to escape his past. Charlie is trying to escape her present. To find  real happiness, both must reach back into a story from Charlie's father and discover the real meaning of ‘the sacrifice of the sage hen.’

Published by Swimming Kangaroo Books of Arlington, Texas

Visit Susie at or

Purchase at, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other online bookstores.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cowgirl Dreams Blog Tour

Heidi M. Thomas, author of Cowgirl Dreams, is galloping over the internet highway on her Blog Book Tour, and today she ties up her dusty virtual horse at the WWW hitchin’ post.

For the past three years, I was the editor of the Women Writing the West catalog of members’ books. I have gotten acquainted with many of our published authors that way, and added to my long list of “To Be Read” books. This year, my book, Cowgirl Dreams, will be in the catalog, along with many well-known western and historical authors, and I feel honored to be among them.

Women Writing the West was birthed in the early 1990s by Jerrie Hurd and Sybil Downing at an organizational meeting of the Women of the West Museum. It has since grown to more than 300 members and conducts a renowned writing contest, the WILLA Literary Awards, named for Willa Cather.

I first became aware of Women Writing the West in the late 1990s when I attended a Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Seattle. Sybil Downing and Jeri Hurd were there, looking for books about women in the west. I was a volunteer and helped distribute handouts during their presentation. The seed was planted.

After I had written my book, Cowgirl Dreams, (or what was then twice as long and called “Memoirs of a Cowgirl”) I once again became aware of WWW and decided to join and attend a conference in Denver in 2002. I felt that might be the best venue to find an agent or publisher.
Over the years, I have made so many good friends through this group, not to mention meeting agents, editors, and film-makers. And, best of all, I made the connection to my publisher through WWW.

My writing and publishing experience exemplifies the saying “It’s not a destination, but a journey.” Every step of the way has been a learning experience and I look forward to continuing on that learning trip, with my WWW friends cheering, leading, and giving me a hand over the rough spots. That’s what we do in this group.
WWW is one of the most supportive, enthusiastic and caring groups I've been privileged to be a part of.

It is open to women and men writing about the west or in the west, and includes well-known western and historical authors, such as Sandra Dallas, Molly Gloss, Louise Erdrich. and Jane Kirkpatrick.

An excerpt from Cowgirl Dreams. Nettie expects a special birthday present and ends up with one I would have preferred.

The heady roasted aroma of coffee roused Nettie from a drowsy slumber. December 17. Her fifteenth birthday. I wonder what kind of presents I’ll get. The boots? I hope, I hope. She picked up her diary and pen from where they’d dropped on her chest as she’d dozed off earlier and slipped from her warm bed.

Frost etched leafy designs on the window, and she could see her breath. Shivering, she pulled on a heavy wool sweater and a pair of Joe’s hand-me-down wool pants over her long johns. She jammed her already sock-clad feet into boots that were scuffed and wrinkled as an old man’s face, also well broken in by her older brother. It sure would be nice to have some new ones.

She shuffled out of her room, through the living room, and paused at the kitchen door to soak up the warmth that radiated from the snapping fire in the cook stove. Mama dipped pancake batter onto the griddle as fatback popped and sizzled. Nettie gulped in the tantalizing smells. Her younger brothers, Ed and Chuck, were already seated in their places. Esther pounded a spoon on her high chair. In the middle of the table was a frosted cake with fifteen white candles surrounded by several wrapped packages. Hmm, is one of them big enough for boots?

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Nettie opens several packages before she gets to the last, mysterious one.)

The next small package held a blue satin hair ribbon. “Oh, how pretty.”

“That’s from Esther.”

Nettie blinked. Strange, how this little bit of fabric made her want to tear up. She didn’t usually cotton to frilly things.

“And this one’s from us.” Mama handed Nettie a box.

Nettie held her breath. Was it big enough? It looked a little small. Surely it would be the boots.
She ripped open the paper, ignoring her mother’s frown. Mama liked to save wrapping paper to reuse. That’s okay. This piece has been well-used already. Nettie opened the box and sniffed. It didn’t really smell like leather.

Inside were several paperback western romances. Books. She loved books, but Nettie wanted to cry. No boots. Didn’t they know how much she wanted those shiny black boots with fancy green stitching?

She looked up Mama’s beaming face. Her mother usually looked askance when she caught Nettie poring over the Ranch Romance magazines and dime novels at the Cut Bank Merc. Studying a textbook or reading a cookbook was all right, but usually Mama considered this “paperback trash” a waste of time.

Nettie put on what she hoped was a bright smile. “Thanks, Mama, Papa.” She did love to read. Her mother must be softening a little. “These are great. I can hardly wait to read them.”

She finished her breakfast and tried not to think of boots.

Cowgirl Dreams is available from my website (autographed) or my publisher Treble Heart Books

Join me tomorrow at my next blog tour stop at Equestrian Ink “Women Compete With Men.” For a complete schedule of my tour, go to my blog

Heidi M. Thomas

Sunday, May 03, 2009

May New Releases

General William Palmer
Railroad Pioneer
By Joyce B. Lohse

"General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer", by Joyce B. Lohse, is the latest title and the thirteenth book in the popular series "Now You Know Bios" from Filter PressPalmer Lake, Colorado. Joyce Lohse, a member of Women Writing the West and administrator for the organization, has written four biographies for the series. Her subjects include Dr. Justina Ford, educator Emily Griffith, and adventurer Margaret "Molly" Brown, as well as a duo-biography about the First Governor and First Lady of Colorado, John and Eliza Routt. Joyce, who combines her background in journalism and genealogy, accepted induction last spring into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame on behalf of Eliza Routt. Her work has also won a silver WILLA award from Women Writing the West, and two awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

General William Palmer was a Colorado pioneer who was founder of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, the city of Colorado Springs, and was instrumental in Colorado's growth during its formative years. The story also features his wife, Queen Palmer, who started the first school in Colorado Springs, and helped settle the area with her husband. The series, appropriate for young adult readers, appeals to history buffs of all ages. List price for "Now You Know Bios" is $8.95 each. Publisher Filter Press is a publisher-member of Women Writing the West, and publisher of several titles by WWW members.

For more information about "General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer" and other titles by Joyce Lohse, go to:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Writers Conferences

Most of us have been to a writers conference to two. We have enjoyed ourselves and made new contacts. We use the trip as a business expense. Still why do we really attend these conferences? The answer for me is networking and a chance to learn something about this industry. Many of us are great and soon to be great writers. Some of us are adept at the business of writing. For myself, I enjoy networking and finding new ways to get people to notice my work and by connection to notice me.

I attended the one day session at the PPW conference in Colorado Springs on advanced marketing. A number of the writers were shy or shall I say quiet about their works. Of course when you ask about what they were doing, then the floodgates opened. For myself, I had no problem with talking about what I did. I also know that as an actor I have an advantage. I don't care if people think I look a fool. What I have to say is not foolish and the best way to get people to notice what I have to offer is to get noticed.

So why writers conferences? To learn from others and to have others learn from me. That is the best of both worlds.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Venturing into Texas

With my latest book set in Minnesota, the "northwest" region in 1907, I've taken the plunge to travel to Texas to promote it. May not seem like much of a connection there but there is. The story, A Flickering Light is based on my grandmother's life as an early photographer and some of the descendants of a main character in the book -- the wife of a man she fell in love with -- live in Plano Texas and are planning to come to the signing. I'll have a PowerPoint of some of the photographs used in the novel and a few others from the glass plate collection I have. I hope some of you in the area will come by. The second event centers on quilts and crafts as narratives. Did you know that we get the word "craft" from the Greek word poema meaning poem. And isn't that what a craft is, the essence of a people, an experience, a story. Join me so I'm not all alone in Texas!

May 26, Legacy Books, 7:30 PM, Plano, Texas.

May 31, Dallas Heritage Village, 2:30, Dallas Texas. I'll be sharing the story of Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community, and Craft.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

April New Releases

cover of A Flickering Light
A Flickering Light
By Jane Kirkpatrick

"Taking a page from her grandmother's photo album, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick explores the mystery of shadow and light and the complications of a young woman's pursuit of her dreams. Jessie Gaebele is trained to operate studios around the Midwest in the early 1900s when photographers became ill from mercury poisoning. As her skills grew, so did her interest in her mentor, a very married man. This first book of two in the Portrait of a Heart Collection was called "...exceptionally authentic...a compelling portrait...aching and hopeful" in a starred Publisher's Weekly review. Jane received the 2008 WILLA Literary award for Best Original Paperback Novel. This is her 15th novel."

Published by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, a division of Random House. 

Can be purchased at bookstores everywhere and online at:

Visit Jane on the web at


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Winds of Change
By Gwyn Ramsey

After surviving through the throes of being kidnapped by Indians and traded for goods to the Arapahos, Sarah Anderson proves herself worthy of the Indian name Vision Seeker and marries a warrior. She settles into the daily routine of wife to Running Swift and mother to Little Feather until a twist of fate brings her world crashing down around her when the Army charges into the village to arrest the warring warriors.

Rescued from the Indians and returned to Fort Laramie, Sarah now faces the difficult task of transitioning back into the white world with an Indian child. Shunned by the white populace and considered a soiled dove, she struggles with her uncertain future until a man she once knew crosses her path.

Published by Treble Heart Books

Available soon from Treble Heart Books Here


Trail of Storms
by Marsha Ward

Jessie Bingham put heartbreak away to tend to her sister's needs, but when she settled for second best in love, she didn't foresee that James Owen would come back into her life. 

The aftermath of the Civil War creates cruel circumstances for the Bingham family. A brutal attack on Jessie's sister, Hannah Fletcher, drives the extended family to flee to the West. They are soon joined by Heppie Bingham's beau George and his brother, Ned, who bring news that the Binghams are being pursued by cronies of Hannah's attacker. Even after they fight off that onslaught, poverty, bad weather, and Hannah's frightful secret plague their journey. Nursing her battered heart when she hears James Owen took a wife, Jessie accepts Ned's offer of marriage. But a stop on the trail holds surprises that launch Jessie into a bewildering tangle of values, emotions, and high adventure.  

Published by iUniverse

Purchase at iUniverse Here

Purchase from Amazon Here

Purchase from Barnes and Noble Here

Purchase from Marsha's website Here
as well as various other online booksellers.